Lawmakers return to D.C. this week with gun reform front and center

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Posted at 4:14 AM, Jun 06, 2022

WASHINGTON — Tulsa, Buffalo and Uvalde.

Just three of the communities in our country that have experienced a mass shooting in recent weeks.

How common is gun violence in our country? The Washington Post reports not a single week this year has passed without at least four mass shootings. A mass shooting is typically defined as when four or more people lose their life.

Gun violence — and the prospect of reform — will take center stage this week as lawmakers return to Washington from their Memorial Day recess.


What is your opinion on guns?

Is it closer to what President Joe Biden said last week during his primetime address?

"We should limit the rounds a weapon can hold," Biden said Thursday.

Or is your opinion closer to what many Republicans have told reporters in recent days?

"Mental illness and school safety are what we need to target," Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last week.

Regardless of your opinion, the reality is lawmakers on Capitol Hill could possibly announce this week a bipartisan measure that just might pass the split Senate and Democratically-controlled House and become law.

Both Democrats and Republicans are optimistic.

So, where is compromise emerging?

One area is federal funding for states to create or improve red flag laws.

19 states already have the law on the books which allows law enforcement to seize guns from those deemed a threat.

Another area is school safety upgrades. That could include everything from improved doors to increased in-person security.

Finally, improved mental health is expected to be included as well, which would likely focus on better funding, especially for young people.

What doesn't the emerging compromise include?

For now, it does not raise the minimum age to buy semi-automatic guns.

It doesn't restrict bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.

Both allow for rounds to be fired more rapidly.

Laws around AR-15-style guns are not expected to change either.

That gun has been used in some mass shootings in recent years, including shootings in Tulsa, Uvalde and Buffalo.

One area to watch this week, as the Senate returns to D.C., is whether any change to background checks will be included. A narrow change could be included in the compromise.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is setting up her own votes this week on bills that would restrict who can buy a gun and how a gun can operate.

However, those House bills currently lack enough Republican support in the Senate.

10 Republicans will need to join 50 Democrats for any legislation to pass the Senate.

President Biden has been very clear in recent days he does not have much ability to enact anything more on his own via executive order and has encouraged Congress to act.