Democrats are ramping up one of their most concentrated pushes for gun control yet, and from the looks of it, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might be unwilling to stand in their way.
The Kentucky Republican refused to rule out a possibility of the Senate exploring an “assault weapons” ban or red flag gun confiscation laws.
McConnell also said there was “a lot of support” for background check measures advanced by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Nearly all gun sales from retailers to customers already involve a NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) background check. Toomey’s legislation would extend the check to sales between private individuals, involving weapons which have very rarely if not never used in criminal acts or mass shootings.
The Senate Majority Leader said that laws regulating so-called assault weapons were “one of the front and center issues,” speaking to WHAS 840 in Louisville. “But what we can’t do is fail to pass something. What I want to see here is an outcome, not a bunch of partisan back and forths, shots across the bow.”
Presumably, the “assault weapons” ban alluded to by McConnell would ban some of the most commonly owned and used civilian firearms in America. There are tens of millions of AR-15-style rifles in the hands of Americans, and an assault weapons ban would ban the further sales of such commonly owned firearms, or even seize them from their current owners, should the more dramatic gun control advocates get their way.
McConnell is thought of as a “master tactician” by some Republicans, and it may be possible his refusal to solidly rule out an assault weapons ban is a trick intended to give Democrats a false sense of security. But the Second Amendment community the Senate Majority Leader has pledged to support is understandably less than thrilled with the Senator’s ambiguity on gun control.
Where Does He Stand? Arizona’s Mark Kelly Has Gone MIA On Gun Rights
He’s avoiding policy answers on guns.
Mark Kelly, the Democratic challenger for Arizona’s Senate seat, has a respectable lead against incumbent Republican Senator Martha McSally, according to a number of polls.
McSally is viewed as an ineffective legislator by many grassroots conservatives and her campaign has been flaccid to say the least.
Given these circumstances, Democrats could end up picking up this seat in 2020. In the case that Arizona’s Senate seat flips, Arizona voters have the right to know about the full extent of Kelly’s track record.
On the issue of the Second Amendment, Kelly’s statements have been relatively vague. He talks a lot about “gun safety” but doesn’t offer much in terms of specifics. Above all, he hasn’t called for so-called “assault weapons” bans which Democrat presidential Joe Biden supports.
There are legitimate question marks about Kelly’s legislative intentions regarding the Second Amendment. After all, he is the husband of Gabby Giffords, a former congresswoman who was victim of an assassination attempt in 2012. Since then, she helped form Giffords, one of the fastest growing civilian disarmament lobbies in the country.
Kelly’s website gives a brief overview of his gun control positions:
Mark and Gabby co-founded Giffords, one of the nation’s leading gun safety organizations that brings together families, gun owners, veterans, law enforcement, and others to advocate for stronger gun safety laws that save lives.
Mark will stand up to the gun lobby and fight to protect Arizona kids and communities from gun violence. He will keep kids and communities safer by working to pass universal background checks, to keep guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers, and reduce mass shootings and suicides by allowing families and law enforcement to ensure dangerous individuals and people in crisis don’t have access to firearms.
Arizona is one of America’s most pro-gun states. It features Constitutional Carry, the idea that any lawful individual can carry a firearm without a permit and has a strong reputation for its vast array of shooting ranges and venues where gun owners can practice sharpen their shooting skills.
The fact that Kelly has remained relatively quiet on this issue shows that he’s exercising a degree of pragmatism. Gun owners are a sleeping giant that, if awakened, could easily derail Kelly’s electoral aspirations.
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