Congressional Democrats are lining up to keep gun control on the front burner following the Newtown school shootings. Just hours after President Barack Obama outlined his proposals, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California announced she’ll introduce her assault weapons ban bill next Thursday.
Congressman Adam Schiff of Burbank introduced a pair of bills — one to ensure that victims of gun violence have the same rights to hold gun makers and gun sellers accountable for negligence, and one to crack down on straw purchasers of guns. And nearly a dozen of California's congressional Democrats joined other Democrats at a special hearing on the impact of gun violence.
Contra Costa County Congressman Mike Thompson said no set of laws will end these senseless acts of violence. "But that’s no excuse for sitting around and doing nothin’," he said. Thompson heads a House gun violence task force. He called the challenge complex, but said every idea "and everyone needs to be at that table in order for us to be successful."
No Republicans joined today's special hearing on gun violence, but several California GOP members did weigh in on the president’s proposals.
Brea Congressman Ed Royce says he supports both the Second Amendment and instant background checks for those wishing to purchase guns.
Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach says background checks “have value” as long as they don’t violate the rights of law-abiding citizens. But he labels the president’s other proposals as duplicative, or focused on controlling “honest citizens rather than making it more likely to disarm criminals.”
GOP Congressman Darrell Issa of Temecula says he has “concerns about insufficient Justice Department efforts” to enforce existing gun laws that allow dangerous criminals access to firearms.
An aide to House Whip Kevin McCarthy says if Senate Democrats are able to pass something, House leaders will review it, as well as any proposals that come out of House committees.