Why are Republicans not reading the sentiment of the country and cobbling together a bill to make automatic weapons of war illegal for civilians?
— Asked April 18 in our election live chat
After a shooter killed three students and three adults at a private Christian school in Nashville in March, congressional lawmakers indicated little support for gun reform through legislation. House Democrats renewed calls for stricter gun laws, but the Republican House majority reiterated their objection to tighter gun laws, and stressed that “mental health issues remain the root cause of the country’s gun violence problem.”
My colleagues Marianna Sotomayor and Liz Goodwin, who cover Congress, reported that Senate Republicans unanimously rejected an assault weapons ban earlier this year, and did not express enthusiasm for other controls. Senate Democrats said they were also reluctant to push gun-related legislation without significant Republican support to overcome the 60-vote filibuster.
Answered by Brianna Tucker
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Last year, House Democrats were able to pass an assault weapons ban when they were in the majority of the chamber, but the measure didn’t have enough support to be brought up in the Senate. Now in the House minority, Democrats can’t control what the chamber votes on, and would need support of Republicans to move a bill forward.