red flag laws

House Judiciary Committee sends gun control bills to the floor
Lengthy, contentious markup highlights how Republican opposition could stall effort in Senate

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, said the committee was "acting because of the urgent need to respond to the daily toll of gun violence in our communities." (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee advanced three more gun control bills Tuesday during a lengthy, often contentious and sometimes emotional markup that highlighted how Republican opposition could stall the efforts in the Senate.

The committee considered the legislation in the wake of an August in which 53 people were killed in mass shootings in the U.S., according to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York. The shootings prompted a national address from President Donald Trump and intensified calls for Congress to act.

House Judiciary panel to dive into gun debate upon return
Background checks, assault weapons ban, ‘red flag’ laws and more could be on the table

People hold candles at the end of the prayer vigil in Odessa, Texas, for victims of a mass shooting there Saturday in which seven people were killed. (Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to jump-start legislation addressing firearm ownership, an issue that has languished before Congress for more than two decades but faces new urgency in the wake of recent mass shootings that rattled the country.

Supporters of the legislation have scrambled over the summer recess to cobble together support and advance various proposals before the political will withers after recent shootings in Gilroy, California; Dayton, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas. A rampage in the West Texas community of Odessa over Labor Day weekend added to the concern. House Democrats have struggled with how far to push in the face of a GOP-controlled Senate and White House.

Democrats weighing new gun legislation in wake of mass shootings
CQ on Congress, episode 167

People gather at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on August 7, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old white male suspect remains in custody in El Paso which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Updated 7:33 p.m. | The House Judiciary Committee had planned to return early from Congress’ summer break next week to mark up gun safety legislation. After this podcast previewing the proceedings was recorded, the committee announced it was postponing the markup until the week of Sept. 9 due to Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to hit Florida. Five of the panel members represent districts in the state. 

Will any House bills pressure Senate Republicans to respond to recent mass shootings? At a time when a majority of the country supports enhanced background checks and other measures to curb gun violence, House Democrats hope so.