WASHINGTON, D.C. – From Philadelphia to Chattanooga, Tennessee, we saw more mass shootings across the nation over the weekend. Once again, people are pushing congress to act on gun legislation to prevent another mass shooting from happening. So what kind of legislation is likely to pass? Political analysts outline what kind of gun control legislation is most likely to pass congress.
“Americans are strongly opposed to people with mental health problems owning guns,” said Todd Belt, Political Management Director at George Washington University. “About 87 percent of Americans said that they would support legislation like that and we know that Republicans have really made that their battle cry when it comes to gun restrictions that it’s more about mental health and less about guns, so that’s sort of a layup in terms of being able to pass some legislation on that front.”
Belt also adds that extending the federal registry of gun sales is also getting some support. In the past, republicans have been opposed to it for privacy reasons, but now Belt said public support for this kind of legislation is growing. However, Belt believes that bans on assault rifles or even a ban on high magazine clips, are less likely to make it through. He said republicans are strongly against these.
We also asked Belt how much influence groups like the NRA have over what kind of legislation gets passed. Belt said it’s not so much has how much the NRA contributes to members that really matters, but instead, is that they have a strong base of support from voters on gun rights issues.
“So one of the reasons that the gun rights advocates have been so successful is because they have a very intense minority behind them.,” said Belt. “They’re not the majority but they are very intense and they make their voices felt at the ballot box.”
The House is trying to pass their own legislation on gun control which includes things like limiting the magazine size and increasing the age of someone who can buy a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21 years-old and more. It’s likely to pass the House because the democrats have the numbers, however, it’s likely that it will fail in the Senate because it’s unlikely a handful of Senate republicans will support it. We know that a small group of bipartisan senators, including Senator Pat Toomey (R- PA), are looking to find some common ground on legislation that both sides can support. However, it’s still unclear what that will exactly look like. On Wednesday, survivors of the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings are scheduled to testify before congress. We can expect them to encourage members to pass gun control legislation.