What House Democrats can do about guns

While mass gun shootings have become a regular occurrence in America —Thousand Oaks, California this week, a Pittsburgh synagogue last month, Maryland’s Capital Gazette newsroom this summer, Santa Fe High School this spring, Parkland this winter, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas last year — the response in Washington is expected to be as divided as ever.

But Democrats who are taking the House say they will push forward to pass gun control bills early in the new Congress.

Deutch said implementing universal background checks, a ” gun violence restraining order ,” which allows law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily take guns away from people who are deemed a threat, and banning so-called “bump stocks,” are at the top of his list, along with other school safety and mental health initiatives.

ATF Chief tells Congress laws to ban bump fire stocks is best route With Democrats in control of the House, they can also hold hearings on gun violence, which they tried to pressure Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, the Republican Congressman of Virginia, to do last year.

In March, Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who will take the gavel next year, said “it is long past due” that the committee address the nation’s gun laws.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, motivated President Barack Obama to issue executive action to strengthen the background check system, but Congress failed to pass legislation expanding the checks to gun shows and Internet sales.

For years, Democrats did not run on the gun control issue.

There’s been a modest increase in Americans’ support for stricter gun legislation over the past year, according to a survey published last month by the Pew Research Center .

While Democrats won the House, flipping more than 30 seats in suburban districts across the country, Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate by beating Democrats in red states like Indiana and Missouri, where the National Rifle Association spent over $2.4 million, according to The Trace , a nonpartisan watchdog group on gun violence issues.

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