After string of mass shootings, Democrats begin new push for gun control

click to enlarge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) approach reporters outside the White House after a meeting about infrastructure with President Donald Trump, at the White House in Washington, April 30, 2019. - TOM BRENNER/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Tom Brenner/The New York Times
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) approach reporters outside the White House after a meeting about infrastructure with President Donald Trump, at the White House in Washington, April 30, 2019.
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg
The New Yo
rk Times Company

WASHINGTON — House Democrats, seeking to seize the momentum after recent mass shootings and to pressure Republicans to embrace gun safety measures, will push forward Tuesday with a new package of restrictions, including a bill that would ban the manufacture and sale of large-capacity magazines.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the package, the first step toward bringing it to the floor for a vote. It includes a so-called red flag law aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to take away guns from those deemed dangerous by a judge; a measure barring people convicted of hate crimes from buying guns; and legislation barring, for civilian use, magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds.

But the fate of the legislation remains murky, with President Donald Trump sending mixed signals about where he stands. Leading Republicans are to meet with the president at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leaders, are demanding that Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, take up a House-passed bill extending background checks to all gun purchases, including those at gun shows and over the internet.

McConnell has said he will not bring any measure to the floor for a vote unless the president says he will sign it.

The president initially expressed support in early August for “very meaningful background checks” after a pair of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, but stopped short of endorsing the bill passed by the House. Then, Trump’s stance appeared to soften after talks with gun rights advocates.

The White House has been in talks with a bipartisan group of senators on a series of gun-related measures, including a red flag law and expanding background checks, as well as others measures that might be more palatable to the National Rifle Association. Senate Democrats involved in the talks said they expect White House aides to present Trump with his options as early as Wednesday and remained unclear on what he might accept.


Democrats are stopping short of their most ambitious goal: an assault weapons ban. A proposed ban is circulating in the House, but its chief sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, estimated he is six or seven votes short of the 218 required for passage.

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