“Joe Biden is accentuating his decades-long push for gun control in a new series of digital ads aimed at motivating voters to support him in next month’s Iowa caucuses,” BuzzFeed News reports.
NBC News: “The court has steadfastly declined to take up any gun rights cases since ruling in 2008’s Washington, D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment provides a right to keep a handgun at home for self-defense, and later clarifying in 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago that the right applies nationwide.”
“Now the court’s willingness to take the New York case — even though the law at issue was recently repealed — has gun rights supporters feeling optimistic that it could lead to a ruling about the right to bear arms outside the home. Gun control advocates, in contrast, fear the court’s new conservative majority may produce a decision that the National Rifle Association could use to fight against many of the 300 local gun restrictions enacted since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.”
“President Trump has so far failed to follow through on his vow to secure tougher gun laws in the wake of this summer’s mass shootings that killed dozens. The latest rationale from Republicans: The House’s impeachment inquiry makes it impossible,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Attorney General William Barr: “Unfortunately, our discussions on the legislative aspects of this have been sidetracked because of the impeachment process on the Hill, and so we are going forward with all the operational steps that we can take that do not require legislative action. Right now it does not appear that things in Washington are amenable to those kinds of negotiations and compromises.”
“The Supreme Court said Tuesday a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people,” the AP reports.
“The justices rejected an appeal from Remington Arms that argued it should be shielded by a 2005 federal law preventing most lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when their products are used in crimes.”
Beto O’Rourke dismissed criticisms of his sweeping gun control proposal, telling CBS News that he expects gun owners will go along with his plan to institute a “mandatory buyback” of high-powered rifles.
Said O’Rourke: “If we’re able to pass mandatory buybacks and I’m able to sign that into law, then I fully expect our fellow Americans to turn in their AR-15s and their AK-47s.”
A South Carolina auto dealership posted their “latest greatest” promotion on Facebook, saying they will be giving away a Bible, an American Flag and a Smith & Wesson AR-15 with every vehicle purchased, WBTV reports.
“National Rifle Association funds paid for lodging and travel of Russian nationals throughout 2015 and 2016, as part of a relationship that allowed foreign actors looking to influence the U.S. election, including now-convicted Maria Butina, to infiltrate the gun-rights group, a new report asserts,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The report, released Friday by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, also says NRA leaders traveled to Moscow in December 2015 partly on the NRA’s dime, even though some went there to pursue their own personal business opportunities. This raises questions, the report says, about whether they violated laws on how nonprofit funds can be used.”
“The trip to Moscow gave Russians an opening to the organization as the election was ramping up, as well as access to other events involving Republican party leaders.”
Wall Street Journal: “The confirmation of President Trump’s pick to head the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is in jeopardy as some Republican senators expressed concern that he would restrict the rights of gun owners.”
“Chuck Canterbury, the head of the national Fraternal Order of Police, doesn’t have enough Republican support to advance beyond the Senate Judiciary Committee, the people said, and a Thursday vote on his nomination was indefinitely postponed.”
“Competing factions inside the White House have stymied efforts to unite behind gun legislation, further delaying President Trump from getting behind any plan,” Politico reports.
“On one side is Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, and Attorney General William Barr. Both are urging the president to back new firearms restrictions — including expanded background checks for gun sales — insisting he can be the leader who succeeds on an intractable issue that has bedeviled his predecessors and that he can win back moderate suburban voters in the process, according to people involved in the discussions.”
“On the other side, a group that includes Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son and an avid hunter, and a top aide to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, is telling Trump he risks losing support from his conservative base if he pushes too aggressively on new gun control legislation, they say.”
Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R) ran a Facebook ad warning gun control advocacy groups she is “not afraid to shoot” them down, the HuffPost reports.
Now she’s blaming the language on a digital media company she said was hired to work on it.
Beto O’Rourke escalated his feud with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, asserting that his fellow Democrat has accomplished “absolutely nothing” on gun control, the Washington Post reports.
Said O’Rourke: “Ask Chuck Schumer what he’s been able to get done. We still don’t have universal background checks. Didn’t have them when he was in the majority, either. So, you know, the game that he’s played, the politics that he’s pursued have given us absolutely nothing and have produced a situation where we lose nearly 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year.”
“Colt Firearms will be ending its production and sales of its AR-15 rifles due to lack of public demand amid excess market capacity,” American Military News reports.
“Colt released a statement on Thursday to clarify the decision, which was made because the company simply isn’t selling enough of the rifles in the civilian marketplace to continue devoting the resources into it — a pattern that may be attributed to Colt rifles’ $1,000+ price tag and a market supplied with lower priced competitors.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) told the Albany Times Union that he doesn’t “know of any other Democrat who agrees” with Beto O’Rourke’s proposal to confiscate automatic weapons.
Said Schumer: “I don’t know of any other Democrat who agrees with Beto O’Rourke, but it’s no excuse not to go forward.”
Meanwhile, O’Rourke told CNN that many Democrats “are complicit in what we see right now” with regards to gun violence.
“Beto’s one human being. He gave his own opinion, OK? I think it was very harmful to make it look like all the Democrats. I can tell you one thing: Beto O’Rourke’s not taking my guns away from me. You tell Beto that, OK?”
— Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
“Senior Republicans in Congress are expecting turmoil inside the National Rifle Association to sharply curtail the group’s participation in the 2020 campaign, conceding that they have lost confidence in the premiere gun rights organization,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer warned President Donald Trump on Sunday that any firearm legislation that falls short of universal background checks for gun sales ‘will not get the job done,’ complicating delicate negotiations between the president and a group of senators,” Politico reports.
“Trump has been discussing potential legislation with senators in both parties that would expand background checks but would not go as far as House-passed legislation that would apply them to all gun sales with limited exceptions. Trump issued a veto threat on the House’s background-checks bill earlier this year, and few Republicans in Congress support it.”
“But in a conversation with Trump on Sunday morning, the House speaker and Senate minority leader indicated to Trump that they were taking a much harder line than rank-and-file senators involved in the talks.”
“Beto O’Rourke early Friday morning characterized an incendiary tweet from a Texas state representative as ‘a death threat’ against him, and charged that the Republican lawmaker should be stripped of his assault weapon,” Politico reports.
After O’Rourke’s campaign tweeted, “Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15,” after last night’s debate, Briscoe Cain (R) — who represents the state’s House District 128, east of Houston — wrote online: “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”
New York Times: “As Democrats make an aggressive push for new gun control legislation, they have made a calculated decision to stop short of pursuing their most ambitious goal: an assault weapons ban.”
“The overwhelming majority of House Democrats — 211, seven shy of the 218 needed for passage — are co-sponsoring legislation to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons, similar to the ban in effect from 1994 to 2004. But some centrist Democrats remain skittish about any proposal that keeps firearms from law-abiding citizens — a frequent charge against Democrats by Republicans and gun rights groups — making any such ban politically risky for moderates in Trump-friendly districts. In the Senate, it draws less support.”
“The split reveals just how complicated gun politics remain inside the Democratic Party, even as mass shootings are terrorizing the nation and the Twitter hashtag #DoSomething has captured the mounting public demands for Congress to act.”