What’s on the table as Congress weighs action on guns

By Marianne LeVine

The latest wave of mass shootings is fueling a new push to curb gun violence — but it’s not clear what, if anything, can get passed by a divided Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Here are some of the main proposals up for debate.

Background checks

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Trump has spoken positively about strengthening background checks, and House Democrats have passed legislation to do so. But Senate Republicans have long resisted the proposals and many remain deeply skeptical.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS


H.R. 8: The bill would require background checks on all gun sales, including between private parties at gun shows or over the internet. The House passed the bill, which advocates called the most sweeping move to curb gun violence in decades, in February.

H.R. 1112: The House also passed legislation in February to lengthen the period of time the FBI has to complete a background check from three days to 10. The measure is intended to close the “Charleston loophole”; Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., bought a gun despite pending felony drug charges against him.

Manchin-Toomey: Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are reviving their proposal to expand background checks to all commercial sales. The bill, which is narrower than the House-passed plan, has previously failed to gain enough Republican support to pass the Senate.

Red flag laws

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Trump has called for “red flag” laws, and a growing number of Republicans are endorsing them. Democratic leaders might be supportive but view action on that issue alone as a tepid response to the massacres.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS


Graham-Blumenthal: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are introducing legislation to create a grant program helping states establish red flag laws, which allow a family member or police officer to petition a court to restrict access to firearms for individuals who might be an imminent threat either to others or themselves.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has his own red flag bill (S. 7), as does Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (S. 506), to deliver federal funding for red flag laws in the states. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are also considering the idea.

Assault weapons/magazines

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Some Democrats are eager to revive the ban on assault weapons or eliminate high-capacity magazines, but most Republicans are dead-set against such proposals. Trump recently said that there was “no political appetite” for an assault weapons ban.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS


S.66, H.R. 1296: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have introduced legislation that would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing or possession of assault weapons like a semiautomatic assault weapon or a large capacity ammunition feeding device, including a magazine. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) has introduced the legislation in the House.

S. 447, H.R. 1186: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) have introduced legislation that would ban the sale, manufacturing and importation of high-capacity magazines with more than 10 rounds.

Domestic terrorism

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Democrats have seized on the racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric of the El Paso shooter to call for legislation cracking down on domestic terrorism and white nationalism. Trump and Republicans have shown little interest in these plans.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS


S. 894, H.R. 1931: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation that would require offices within the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and the FBI to keep track of domestic terrorist activity.

S. 2043, H.R. 3545: Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Don Beyer (D-Va.), along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have bills that would give grants to states to create hate crime hotlines and provide more training for law enforcement agencies for reporting hate crimes.

S. 1462, H.R. 2708: The legislation introduced by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) would prevent an individual convicted of a violent hate crime from obtaining a firearm.

H.R. 3106: Introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the bill would require an annual report on domestic terrorism from the FBI, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.