By Jack Phillips
“The NRA will support legislation that improves school security, promotes mental health services, and helps reduce violent crime. However, we will oppose this gun control legislation because it falls short at every level. It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners,” the NRA wrote in a statement Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Senate released 80 pages of the bill, which includes funding for states that implement red flag laws, more background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21, and penalties for straw purchases. That same day, the Senate voted to advance the bill 64 to 34 as 14 Republicans support the measure, meaning that it has enough votes to pass the 60-vote threshold to overcome the filibuster.
The NRA continued to say that the bill “can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being adopted by state and local politicians.”
“This bill leaves too much discretion in the hands of government officials and also contains undefined and overbroad provisions–inviting interference with our constitutional freedoms,” the pro-Second Amendment group said. “Decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Heller and McDonald cases make clear that the Second Amendment is an individual constitutional freedom. We will always fight for those freedoms–and the fundamental values we have defended for over 150 years. ”
Earlier this month, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced they came to an agreement on a proposed gun-control framework after several high-profile mass shootings, including in New York and Texas. In Texas, a top law enforcement on Tuesday said that a shooting that left 19 children dead in Uvalde could have been prevented if law enforcement acted more quickly and described the police response as a failure.
Some Republican senators said they won’t support the bill.
“I do not support this legislation and will continue to vote against it,” Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. “As a senator from Wyoming, I know the meaning of the Second Amendment. I will not vote for any legislation that would jeopardize the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
And a number of House Republican lawmakers have argued that it shouldn’t be passed because it supports red flag laws, which they described as unconstitutional and in violation of its Due Process Clause.
Cornyn, meanwhile, was resoundingly booed and jeered over the past weekend when he delivered a speech at the Texas GOP convention. A pro-gun rights group demanded that he apologize after he called the crowd a “mob.”
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