The Senate rejected four gun control proposals on Monday. All four proposals failed to acquire the 60 votes required for passage. Supporters of the anti-gun bills claim that the bills were rejected due to the influence of the NRA while opponents of the bills argue that the measures outlined in the bill would not be effective in reducing the number of mass shootings in the United States.
All four of the rejected proposals contained language that would expand the scope and intensity of background checks or prevent people on a government watch lists from purchasing firearms. The legislation was introduced just one week after one of the deadliest mass shootings in the history of the United States. Omar Mateen, a homegrown terrorist residing in Florida, opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people.
The incident has sparked a fierce debate in the Senate, pro-gun control advocates argue that the NRA has influenced senators to vote against common sense gun control measures while the anti-gun control senators argue that the measures outlined in the bills will only disarm law abiding citizens.
The senators that voted against the bills have argued that the proposals are unconstitutional. The state that preventing any person that was arbitrarily or accidentally placed on a terrorist watch list would be denied their right to due process. Many law-abiding citizens have been mistakenly placed on these lists due to the errors of bureaucrats. To declare them terrorists and refuse them the right to bear arms without a trial would be a clear violation of the Constitution.
Anti-gun control lawmakers have also accused those that support the bills of using a national tragedy to push their oppressive legislation through. The NRA issued the following statement to Senators before the vote asking them to remain logical and rational while evaluating the bill. The statement to lawmakers read:
“They’re blaming you, the (National Rifle Association) for the terrorist attack in Orlando and taking advantage of this tragedy to push their gun control agenda while emotions run high,”
Conversely, pro-gun control supporters argued that the current gun laws are too lax and allow terrorists and other criminals to purchase weapons through legal means. Democrats have accused of Republican senators of voting down the measures simply to please the NRA. The claim the NRA is coercing the senate to protect their interests rather than the interests of the people of the United States. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took a shot at both the NRA and opponents of the bills by telling the Washington Post:
“Senate Republicans ought to be embarrassed, but they’re not, because the NRA is happy,”
These recent rejections are part of a long list of rejected gun control measures. The Senate has been successful in protecting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American up to this point. The last time the Senate voted on these measures was in 2015, in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Some of the bills rejected today were updated versions of the bills presented in 2015. It appears the debate over gun control will continue to rage in congress until changes in policy are made.