The Senate Judiciary Committee spent Thursday considering four new gun control proposals initiated in response to mass shootings during the past year.
Among the legislation under Senate consideration are separate bills that would ban certain classes of firearms and ammunition magazines, require universal background checks for firearm purchases and provide more money to schools for the purchase of safety equipment. The Judiciary Committee approved a bill to specifically prohibit firearms trafficking and straw purchases — punishing offenders with up to 25-year prison sentences. That bill will now move on to the full Senate and is expected to pass.
One legislative proposal that was noticeably off the table in the negotiations Thursday was the National Rifle Association-backed bill mandating that every school in the Nation have an armed guard.
According to interviews with Senators, the universal background check bill will likely move out of committee; but it isn’t clear whether it has much chance of passing in the full Senate. To the pleasure of 2nd Amendment supporters, it has also been reported that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) pet assault weapons ban bill has virtually no chance of approval even in the Democrat-controlled legislative body.
Some pundits speculate that the modest bipartisan gun-trafficking bill that moved in the Senate could serve a conciliatory purpose for the Administration of President Barack Obama and for anti-gun lobby groups, as the President’s ambitious gun-control initiative has been largely considered dead on arrival.