Congress has been unable to pass many strict gun laws this year. For individuals that weres hoping for stronger gun control, this is bad news, and they are going to have to settle for the tiniest of accomplishments for the year 2013.
About the only law that has went through is an extension which is set to last for 10 years. It has been set to go into effect in order to ban plastic high powered firearms which might evade detection by metal detectors. This law is scheduled to clear Congress before the present 25-year law terminates on Dec. 9.
However, something even that basic is full of problems and resistance.
It has been almost a year since the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 20 children and six adults were killed and also way long after a botched attempt where laws that were tried to be placed to force universal background checks for anyone who purchased firearms were cut down quickly. It seems that any attempt to change the gun laws continues to be a colossal task.
Both House Republicans and the National Rifle Association have responded by pushing back antagonistically against any efforts made by Democrats when they attempt to tighten any gun laws. This includes requiring that all guns have at least a single metal section.
Rep. Steve Israel who is a Democrat from New York stated that he does not understand why anyone would want to make it more convenient and easier for criminals to be able to traffic plastic guns onto airplanes. He is striving for tighter gun restrictions.
The Republican House bill version would renew the gun law without adding any other provisions. It passed through the House chamber by voice votes on Tuesday. This means that there was no roll call taken in order to give a list of who was supporting or opposing the measure.
Yet it will in the Senate, where Democrats call the shots (no pun intended) that things will get tricky.
The House wants the Senate to accept the House version and be done with it. As if that ever happen on Capitol Hill with high profile laws.
The Senate stated that the House bill was better than nothing but not by much. They said they have to close any loopholes which allow people to be able to legally create a gun which could become almost invisible by removing the metal parts of it.
However the NRA does not want the renewal. They intensely oppose such extension of any gun law.
In November, the Senate wanted to pass a one-year extension of the present law in order to give more time for negotiations but it was stopped by House Republicans just hours after the Senate decided to limit the filibuster when pressures in Congress were especially high.
Because of this, Democrats in the House seem to have tossed their hands in the air, giving up any determination they might have had to add tighter limits and instead going ahead and accepting anything that gets approved is a success.
Democrat House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer from Maryland stated that the gun bill could have been better, but the 10-year extension lead can be worked on in the Senate and also in the new Congress. By having it being extended, that is better than losing it all together.
Regardless, Congress has been unable to pass any strict gun laws this year.
By Kimberly Ruble