'Senate Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS'
New laws designed to stop terrorists from buying guns were blocked by the Republican Party in the United States Senate yesterday, just one week after 50 people were killed in a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.
Senate Democrats forced a debate on new gun control legislation after a 15-hour filibuster to curb the ease with which people on the US government’s terrorism watch list can purchase firearms.
But the Bill was voted down by nearly every Republican Senator, with 47 votes in favour and 53 against – light-years from the 60 votes needed for the Bill to pass into law.
Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic Senator who co-sponsored the Bill, said as many as one million people could be on the terrorism watch list.
Senator Chris Murphy, the other co-sponsor, said:
‘I’m mortified by today’s vote, but I’m not surprised by it. We learned in the months after Sandy Hook that the NRA has a vice-like grip on this place. Even when 90 per cent of the American public wants change.’
Liberals have long fought for stronger gun control laws in America, where tens of thousands die every year from gun violence.
But even tepid proposals like yesterday’s with a narrow focus on terrorism face opposition from a Republican Party heavily backed by the National Rifle Association. A similar Bill was defeated in December.
Weaker laws proposed by Republicans with more focus on the mental health of the person looking to buy a gun were also defeated in the Senate.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democratic firebrand and a possible vice-presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton, remarked on Facebook:
‘Ashamed and disgusted that the Senate works for the NRA and not the majority of Americans who support basic solutions to stop gun violence.
Senator Chris Murphy said it right: the Senate Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS.’
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.