guns

FBI never completes hundreds of thousands of gun checks
Internal report raised alarms in 2015

Many gun background checks are never completed by the FBI because they are purged from the agency’s computers. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Updated Dec. 4, 1:33 p.m. | The FBI never completes hundreds of thousands of gun background checks each year because of a deadline that requires it to purge them from its computers, despite a report that raised alarms about the practice in 2015.

The data obtained by CQ Roll Call, which has not been previously published, shows how the FBI still struggles to complete background checks four years after a breakdown in the system contributed to a shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine black churchgoers dead.

Justice Department slow to answer Congress on gun background checks
House Appropriations has asked Attorney General William Barr to clarify April testimony

The House Appropriations Committee has asked Attorney General William Barr to clarify testimony he gave Congress in April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House lawmakers are still waiting for Attorney General William Barr to answer written questions after he misstated key data about gun background checks during testimony in April.

The questions revolve around a controversial provision in federal law that lets gun dealers sell firearms before a background check is completed if that takes longer than three business days.

What lawmakers can do about gun violence, and helping black families save ancestral lands
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

A demonstrator holds a sign on the East Front of the Capitol during the student-led March for Our Lives rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to call for action to prevent gun violence in March 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Public pressure on lawmakers is growing across the country to reduce gun violence, but Congress may only be able to pass incremental legislation, explains CQ Roll Call’s legal affairs writer Todd Ruger.

In the second segment of this podcast, we explore how Congress and a South Carolina center are trying to address the loss of land and wealth, particularly among African Americans, in what is commonly referred to as Heirs Property. Josh Walden of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in South Carolina discusses how thousands of acres of land, from the south to Appalachia, may be in dispute because of the lack of legal records.

After HR 1 vote, Democrats ready to move quickly on other top 10 bills
Pelosi has been steadily rolling out bills HR 1 through 10 to keep priorities advancing

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are following through on their campaign promises with legislation. She’s designated bills HR 1 through HR 10 to reflect those top priorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:03 p.m. | House Democrats were in high spirits Friday after they passed the top item on their policy agenda — a package of voting, campaign finance and ethics overhauls dubbed HR 1 — but they’re not going to stop to celebrate for too long.

The new Democratic majority has been quickly, but steadily and deliberately, rolling out legislation to fulfill their 2018 midterm campaign promises and reintroducing bills that languished during the past eight years when Republicans controlled the House. 

The House passed 2 gun control bills, but Democrats aren’t in a rush to do more
Judiciary chairman expects to take up more gun legislation but not until after June

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D- N.Y., says his panel will mark up more gun safety legislation but likely not until after June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats took a victory lap this week as their new majority passed two priority gun control measures that the previous Republican majority had blocked for years, but they appear to be in no rush to pass more. 

“Yes, not immediately, but this session,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler told Roll Call on Thursday when asked if his panel would be marking up more legislation designed to prevent gun violence. Not immediately, the New York Democrat said, is likely “after June sometime.”

Capitol Police weapon left unattended in Capitol bathroom, again
Latest incident recalls rash of similar ones in 2015

A Capitol Police lieutenant left his service weapon in a bathroom Monday night and the unattended gun was discovered later by another Capitol Police officer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A U.S. Capitol Police lieutenant left his service weapon in a bathroom Monday night and the unattended gun was discovered later by another Capitol Police officer.

After the House adjourned on Monday, Lt. Mike Byrd left his Glock 22 in a bathroom in the Capitol Visitor Center complex, according to sources familiar with the incident. Byrd is the commander of the House Chambers section of the Capitol Police and was on the job Tuesday and Wednesday.

Man With Gun and Ammunition Arrested Near Capitol
Police spotted firearm in car during parking enforcement

Officers spotted what appeared to be a firearm in a parked car near the Capitol and arrested the owner when he returned to his car. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Capitol Police arrested a man with a gun and ammunition in his vehicle near the Capitol Thursday morning.

Robert Wesley Combs, 23, of Monroe, Georgia, has been charged with having an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition, Capitol Police said.

House GOP Preps Response to Florida Shooting, Democrats Want More
Absurd that Republican leaders won’t put background check bill on floor, Hoyer says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Speaker Paul D. Ryan conduct a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday after a meeting of the House Republican Conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leaders on Tuesday announced their legislative response to a mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead — a bill to create a federal grant program for schools to implement threat assessment protocols. But Democrats are already calling the measure insufficient. 

The House will vote next week on a bill by Florida GOP Rep. John Rutherford, called the STOP School Violence Act, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Podcast: Guns, Immigration Could Trip Up Long-Awaited 2018 Spending Plan
CQ Budget, Episode 49

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., right, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, conclude a news conference after the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol on February 13, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CQ budget and appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon previews what lawmakers are likely to include in a catch-all fiscal 2018 spending bill and the issues that could spark controversy.

Show Notes:

Capitol Ink | Gun Congress