Mass Shootings Reignite Gun Control Debate in Washington

Good afternoon. We are heartbroken for the families who lost loved ones in this month’s devastating mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. 

Chris Murphy Spearheads Bipartisan Talks on Gun Control Legislation

The nation was already mourning the mass murder of 10 black Americans by a white supremacist gunman in Buffalo, New York, last week. Then came Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School dead. 

The Uvalde shooter reportedly obtained his weapons legally, just after his 18th birthday. After a deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018, then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation to raise the state’s age to purchase assault rifles from 18 to 21. That’s one of the changes advocates are calling for in Texas. It’s among several top proposals—including both state-level and federal changes—meant to minimize the risk of future mass shootings and better regulate gun purchases. Others would expand background checks for gun purchases and incentivize new state laws to identify and block from buying weapons people who pose threats to themselves or others.

Republicans have opposed most gun control proposals in recent decades and broadly don’t seem to be changing their minds now. Lawmakers have considered some of these ideas for years, repeatedly reaching stalemates after past shootings. But there have also been some more modest agreements to shore up existing laws mitigating gun violence: In 2018, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to bolster the information database used for background checks that determine whether an individual should be blocked from purchasing or owning guns. 

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