The article “Gun Control Agenda Narrows as Skepticism Grows” written by Heidi Przybyla deals with an issue of gun ownership legislation. Numerous incidents of carnage in public places such as schools and parking lots raised a question about providing the gun restrictions. However, the problem is that the new reforms regarding weapons bans do not have the adequate bipartisan support in the Congress.
The thing is that the gun ban accepted in 1994 and was expired in 2004. During the last two decades no drastic changes were made in the major U.S. gun legislation. By now, only some narrow measures concerning gun ownership legislation were taken into action. Recently, Congress has introduced a new gun control measure, which presupposes long sentences for illegal trafficking and straw purchasing, which means that buying firearms is forbidden for individuals.
Advocates of gun restrictions, presented mainly by Democrats, claim that stricter measures regarding weapons ownership must be adopted. Considering the fact that, the victims of carnage were killed with a gun that was legally purchased Democrats support a ban on the assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. They also suggest implementing the mandatory background check for all firearms purchasers and keeping the sales records of the screening, which may help to track weapons found at crime scenes. Such background check will prevent people from obtaining weapons through gun shows or the Internet. For the time being, a gun-control advocacy group, which called Americans for Responsible Solutions, suggests implementing the universal background check bill as the most acceptable solution. However, it is uncertain whether these reforms will be supported by the Government. In order to advance the legislation, Senate Democratic Leaders are supposed to receive 60 votes.
By now, such gun restrictions were approved only in the State of Maryland, where Senate had implemented new legislation. According to it, assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are banned, and guns are not available for mentally ill. In addition, Senate implemented new licensing requirements for handguns, which include training and fingerprinting requirements for those who apply for a permit.
The opposition of gun restrictions is presented mostly in the Republican-led House and by a few Democrats mainly from North Dakota and Montana. The gun lobby also includes The National Rifle Association, which is a Second Amendment advocacy group. They are not in favor of providing new measures regarding gun restrictions and they reject any kind of restrictions on firearms and ammunition ownership, moreover, they oppose the expansion of background checks. One of the main objections is the requirement for licensed gun dealers to keep a record of the screenings, which according to NRA may lead to the national registry of gun owners, actually prohibited by law. They also claim a requirement for universal background checks to be a burden for law-abiding gun owners. Instead of this, the opposition suggests enhancing and enforcing the existing laws.
Not being fully supported by the Congress, advocates of gun restrictions resort to the public outrage. According to the citing polls, most Americans are in favor of gun restrictions and support restricted access to assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Moreover, the vast majority of respondents support the idea of providing background checks for gun buyers. Besides, families who suffered from gun-violence are also addressing Congress to take an action regarding gun restrictions.
To conclude, while Republicans are forwarding the measures that do not restrict weapons purchases, the Democrats are backing on the Senate support to advance the bill.