The Senate is set to vote on four gun measures attached to a Justice Department of Justice spending bill –two by Republicans and two by Democrats – Monday.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy’s amendment would expand gun background checks and background check databases, effectively making it nearly impossible to purchase a firearm at a gun show.
The senator filibustered for nearly 15 hours Wednesday in an attempt to gain traction for the gun-control legislation. He needs 60 votes to get past a Republicans filibuster.
California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposal, the “no-fly, no-buy” amendment, would allow the attorney general to stop a prospective buyer from purchasing a weapon “if there is a reasonable belief that the weapon would be used in connection with terrorism.” The measure was backed by the Department of Justice.
“Both Sen. Feinstien and I believe terrorists should not have guns, the difference between out two amendments is mine would do so in a constitutional way rather than deny someone a constitutional right without due process of law,” GOP Sen. John Cornyn told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I know Senator Collins and Senator Toomey have some good ideas that are constructive – these are just the first four votes we’re having. I don’t know whether we are going to have a gun debate or whether we will actually have a debate on what this is really about, which is radicalization of Americans because of poisonous ideology coming from ISIS.”
Cornyn’s amendment would require the attorney general to investigate any gun purchase made by someone on the terrorist watch list.
“Hereafter, the attorney general may deny the transfer of a firearm if the Attorney General determines, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the transferee represents a threat to public safety based on a reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged, or has been engaged, in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources therefor,” the NRA-backed amendment says.
Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley’s amendment would allocate more funds to the National Criminal Instant Background Check System and would add mental health to the list of components of background checks. The Iowa senator is also pushing for a study by director of the National Institutes of Justice and National Academy of Sciences on the root cause behind mass shootings.
“For purposes of sections 102 and 103, the terms `adjudicated as a mental defective’ and `committed to a mental institution’ shall have the same meanings as on the day before the date of enactment of the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2016 until the end of the 2-year period beginning on such date of enactment,” it reads.
Democrats have alleged the Republican measures don’t go far enough, while the GOP argues the left is overreaching into American’s Second Amendment rights.
All four measures are expected to fail in votes set to take place Monday afternoon.
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