guns

Defense conferees to decide fate of firearms export oversight
Decision nears on blocking the Trump administration from weakening regulations on the export of firearms

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif. added an amendment restricting the administration from moving forward with its plan to shift export control of firearm sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Among the many thorny issues Senate and House negotiators have to hash out as they negotiate a final annual defense policy bill this summer is whether to block the Trump administration from weakening regulations around the export of firearms.

The House version of the fiscal 2020 defense authorization measure contains a provision that would restrict the administration from moving forward with its plan to shift export control of firearm sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department.

Amy McGrath will try to deny Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell another term
Former Marine pilot drew national attention in failed 2018 bid against Rep. Andy Barr

Amy McGrath addresses supporters in Richmond, Kentucky, after her loss to Rep. Andy Barr in 2018. (Jason Davis/Getty Images)

Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot whose unsuccessful 2018 House campaign attracted national attention, will challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky Senate seat, she announced Tuesday.

The highly anticipated announcement keys up what is likely to be one of the most closely watched and well-funded matchups of the 2020 congressional campaign cycle, although even Democratic supporters have acknowledged that McGrath faces long odds to unseat one of the most powerful members of the GOP.

Trump suggests ‘this crew’ of 2020 Dems poised to use dirty tricks against him
President revives three-year-old conspiracy theory about 2016 debate mic problem

Then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens during a town hall debate in October 2016 in St Louis. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

With a single tweet Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump again harked back to his 2016 election victory and suggested Democrats are poised to use dirty tricks to prevent him from winning again.

The president also used his preferred social media platform to pit Texas against New York over the National Rifle Association — popular among his conservative base — as he and his campaign team try to keep the Lone Star State in his column.

IRS should investigate the National Rifle Association for self-dealing, congressman says
Schneider: the NRA may have abused its status as a nonprofit

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, faces new scrutiny for his close relationship with public relations company Ackerman McQueen. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Internal Revenue Service should consider revoking the National Rifle Association’s status as a nonprofit organization in light a recent report that the group has enriched its executives at the expense of its 5 million members, a Democratic congressman said Thursday.

Rep. Brad Schneider addressed a letter to the commissioner of the IRS asking the agency to interrogate whether the NRA has misappropriated member dues into the pockets of a small group of executives in a series of sweetheart deals.

Rep. Duncan Hunter defends Navy SEAL charged with murder of teenaged ISIS fighter
Prosecutors say Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher stabbed the fighter and posed for photos with his body

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., argued helmet footage exonerates Special Warfares Operator Chief Edward Gallagher premeditated murder. Gallagher faces a trial by court-martial this month for war crimes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Duncan Hunter held a screening for Capitol Hill lawmakers Wednesday, showing combat footage of a moment when military prosecutors say a Navy SEAL stabbed a teenage captive to death.

Hunter told reporters at a press conference that video captured on a helmet camera exonerates Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher of the alleged war crime. Gallagher faces a trial by court-martial at Naval Base San Diego on May 28 for premeditated murder and other charges.

After gun massacre, Charlotte is now ‘one of those cities’
As election season nears, Second Amendment debate will only become more politically charged

Crime scene investigators talk in front of the campus building where a gunman opened fire at the University of North Carolina this week. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “Now we’re one of those schools.” That’s what a  University of North Carolina student, in more sadness than anger, told a local radio station after a gunman killed two and wounded four others on her campus on Tuesday. And now Charlotte, a city already experiencing a spike in homicides, is “one of those cities.”

In the city and state, there is shock, plus questions. A suspect is in custody, but that doesn’t provide answers about why it happened and what can be done to keep it from happening again.

Trump and Pence tag-team for familiar refrains at NRA conference

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made an 2020 reelection play Friday, both addressing a NRA conference in Indianapolis. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Trump White House made an aggressive reelection play Friday, deploying President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to address a National Rifle Association conference. The fire-up-the-faithful theatrics came on the same day gun activist Mariia Butina, who infiltrated the NRA and reached out aggressively to the Trump campaign team, was sentenced to prison for conspiracy to act as a foreign agent for Russia.

At the gun confab, the president announced he will withdraw the United States as a signatory from the Arms Trade Treaty, which former President Barack Obama signed but Congress never ratified. It is designed to regulate $70 billion in global conventional arms sales and prevent human rights abusers from obtaining firearms. The Obama administration voted for it at the UN despite strong opposition from the NRA. 

Florida man arrested for death threats to Reps. Tlaib, Swalwell and Sen. Booker
John Joseph Kless was arrested and charged with making threatening communications

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., was among three Democratic lawmakers who recently received death threats by voicemail at their D.C. offices. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Florida man was arrested Friday after police said he threatened to kill three Democratic lawmakers: Reps. Eric Swalwell and Rashida Tlaib, as well as Sen. Cory Booker.

John Joseph Kless, 49, was charged in the Southern District of Florida with making threatening communications, after he apparently left death threats by voicemail in the lawmakers’ Washington offices. 

Violence Against Women Act clears House
Measure includes firearms restrictions and expansion of transgender rights

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the lone Republican co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act. He was one of 33 Republicans to support the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House voted Thursday to renew the lapsed Violence Against Women Act, but the proposal stoked contention over provisions restricting gun rights and expanding rights for transgender individuals.

Lawmakers voted 263-158 to pass the measure, which highlighted divisions within the Republican caucus. While the bill does have one Republican co-sponsor, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, other House Republicans objected to new provisions included in the VAWA reauthorization measure. In all, 33 Republicans voted for the measure, and one, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, voted present.

Gohmert trashed on Twitter over his reaction to New Zealand massacre
Texas GOP rep said there are alternatives to ‘resolve controversies’ instead of ‘cold blooded murders’

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert holds a news conference on border security outside of the Capitol in January. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Louie Gohmert was skewered Friday for his statement after a white supremacist shot Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people.

“There are courts, dispute resolutions, and legislatures to resolve controversies — there is no place for cold blooded murder,” the Texas Republican said in his statement.