Democrats use Uvalde shot to demand passage of Senate HR 8, which wouldn’t have prevented tragedy

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In the wake of Tuesday’s horrific mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, Democrats are pushing for a gun control bill that would have done little, if anything, to prevent the tragedy.

HR 8, the bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, would expand the nation’s instant criminal background check system to require background checks for all gun sales, including private sales between two unlicensed individuals .

The bill passed the House last March with eight Republicans voting in favor and one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voting against. The bill was read for the first time Tuesday in the Senate, where 10 Republican votes are needed to defeat a filibuster. Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., has said in the past that HR 8 penalizes law-abiding gun owners, and he reiterated his position Tuesday that removing the obstruction would lead to a ” total madness”.

A state trooper walks past the sign at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, following a deadly shooting at the school.
(William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: SHOOTER LEGALLY PURCHASED 2 RIFLES AT THE TURN 18 DAYS BEFORE SHOOTING

Several Democrats tweeted their support for the bill after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“When 90% of the country supports universal background checks, we should have laws to reflect that,” Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., tweeted Tuesday. “This bill is called HR 8. The House has passed it many times. The Senate MUST act and institute universal background checks on all gun purchases. This is a start.”

People react outside the Civic Center following the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
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People react outside the Civic Center following the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

“It’s been 440 days since @HouseDemocrats passed a bill to strengthen background checks,” tweeted rep Jimmy Gomez, D-California. “202 House Republicans voted against it, and Senate Republicans blocked its enactment. We need to end the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation, NOW.”

“Common sense background checks are supported by: -84% of voters -83% of gun owners -72% of NRA members,” Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, tweeted. “The House passed the bipartisan background checks act last year. It’s time for the Senate to follow suit.”

Police walk near Robb Elementary School after a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

Police walk near Robb Elementary School after a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.
(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the suspect in Tuesday’s shooting, Salvador Ramos, legally purchased two AR platform rifles from a licensee in local federal firearms, one on May 17 and the other on May 20. The suspect also purchased 375 rounds of 5.56 on May 18, the ATF said.

Given that Ramos purchased his guns legally from a licensed firearms dealer, expanding background check requirements to include private sales would not have impacted transactions in which Ramos acquired his weapons.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., signaled Wednesday that he was not putting the bill to a quick vote and would instead try to broker a deal with Republicans.

“My fellow Republicans can work with us now,” he told the Senate. “I think it’s a thin prospect. Very thin, too thin. We’ve been burned so many times before. But it’s so important,” Schumer said. “We need to continue the action and even ask the Republicans to join us again.”



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