Published: Thu, July 14, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

House of Representatives reignites gun-control debate with planned vote

Multiple news outlets are reporting that House Speaker Paul Ryan will hold a vote on some form of gun control next week and that the package will contain a version of Cornyn's proposal to notify law enforcement when someone on the terror watch list tries to buy a gun.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement that the 24-page counter-terrorism bill would help law enforcement prevent future attacks on us soil and "provide a process for individuals being investigated as known or suspected terrorists who attempt to buy a gun to be flagged, delayed, and - if the burden of proof is satisfied - denied their purchase". He said there will be votes on a bill aimed at buttressing mental health programs.

Democrats want Republicans to allow House votes on Democratic-backed gun control bills, and they haven't ruled out a return to disruptive tactics if they're rebuffed. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would have allowed the government to delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorist for 72 hours, but also required prosecutors to go to court to show probable cause to block the sale permanently.

Ryan's decision comes a week after Democrats disrupted House activities in a almost 26-hour sit-in demanding action on gun control. They were speaking at an event on Wednesday at the UConn Medical Center in Farmington, which was organized by Esty to mark a "National Day of Action" to prevent gun violence.

The move represents a shift for Ryan, who last week was sharply critical of Democrats' protests. The headline on the conservative news site Breitbart: "Paul Ryan blinks".

On the issue of the Democratic protests, which Ryan had dismissed as "publicity stunts", the speaker told his GOP members that the leadership was gathering facts, evaluating options and getting recommendations from the parliamentarian and Sergeant at Arms about what to do if the protests continue to interrupt floor action.

House Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor last week, demanding votes on measures to expand background checks for gun purchases and to ban individuals on the no fly list from buying guns.

Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said a vote on an NRA-written bill "just isn't going to cut it".

The same bill was introduced in the House by Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida.

With GOP leaders planning roll calls next week on their proposal making it harder for some terror suspects to acquire firearms, Democrats on Friday demanded accompanying votes on two measures they prefer.

The officials described Ryan's plans on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the call publicly.

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