Congress Weighs Gun Control Measures After Latest Mass Shootings

Democrats are calling on Mitch McConnell to take up a bill the House passed in February that would establish new background check requirements for firearm transfers between unlicensed people

Amid renewed calls for urgent action on gun control, members of Congress are weighing potentially bipartisan ideas to curb gun violence after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California, over the last two weeks have left nearly three dozen people dead.

The legislative proposals under consideration include stronger background checks, “red flag” laws that prevent those threatening harm to themselves or others from buying or possessing firearms and bans on large-capacity magazines or assault-style firearms, NBC News reports.

House and Senate lawmakers are back home in their districts for August recess, however, and are expected to stick to that schedule given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has ignored Democrats’ calls to bring the Senate back for an emergency session to take up House-passed legislation to tighten background checks on gun buyers.

The Senate's absence through Labor Day could diminish any momentum for action, resulting in Congress not passing any legislation at all — as was the case after numerous mass shootings over the last decade such as the 2012 Newtown mass shooting, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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