gun control

No sense of urgency: Rocky road ahead for gun legislation in the House

by CNN Politics  |  published on April 13, 2013

As the Senate opened debate on gun control measures for the first time in nearly 20 years, the path ahead for any gun control measure in the Republican-led House of Representatives is rocky and uncertain.

Family members of those killed in the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, spent three days shuffling from meeting to meeting with senators urging swift action. But across the Capitol there is no sense of urgency, as most rank and file House GOP members are taking a wait and see approach to moving any gun bill, while a bloc of Republicans members are solidly against considering new gun restrictions.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio repeated his long held position that the House would review whatever emerged from the Senate. He was noncommittal about bringing gun legislation to the House floor for a vote.

“I fully expect that the House will act in some way, shape or form but to make a blanket commitment without knowing what the underlying bill is I think would be irresponsible on my part,” Boehner told reporters on Thursday.

Unlike senators, many of whom represent diverse states that include urban and suburban constituencies pressing for new gun restrictions, House districts are more narrowly drawn along partisan lines, and the current House is dominated by members in reliably Republican seats who feel less pressure to act. In many cases these members are getting lobbied from constituents to hold the line against anything they think could curb access to guns.

“You have a lot of members here who are still scared of the NRA,” Democratic Rep Carolyn McCarthy of New York, a gun control advocate, said on Wednesday.

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