Calls for Greater Gun Control After Maine Shooting Unlikely to Succeed

Calls for Greater Gun Control After Maine Shooting Unlikely to Succeed

President Joe Biden has questioned the necessity of high-capacity assault weapons in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. The shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 18 people, has reignited calls for stricter gun control measures. However, efforts to ban assault weapons and implement other gun control policies are expected to face significant opposition from congressional Republicans and gun advocacy groups, including the National Rifle Association.

Biden urged congressional Republicans to prioritize the safety of Americans and pledged to do everything in his power to address the gun violence epidemic. He specifically questioned the need for assault weapons capable of holding up to 100 rounds. Despite these calls for a ban, Republicans have pushed back, advocating for legislation focused on mental health issues and restricting access to firearms for individuals deemed dangerous.

Senator Susan Collins, considered a moderate Republican, stopped short of supporting an assault weapons ban but expressed support for measures to ban high-capacity magazines. Senator Angus King also opposed a full assault weapons ban, instead favoring restrictions on high-capacity magazines. Several states have already implemented such bans.

In a surprising policy reversal, Representative Jared Golden, a Maine Democrat, expressed regret for his prior opposition to an assault weapons ban. Golden, who represents Lewiston, called on Congress to pass a ban on assault rifles, including the AR-style weapon used in the deadly shooting.

While the House was able to pass an assault weapons ban last year, it failed in the Senate. The current House composition, with Republicans holding a majority, makes the passage of such a ban even more challenging. Biden has long been an advocate for assault weapons bans, calling for their elimination following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 and a deadly mass shooting in Nashville earlier this year.

Assault weapons were federally banned between 1994 and 2004, with Biden supporting the ban during his time in the Senate. However, efforts to reinstate the ban have consistently faced opposition from right-wing lawmakers and lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association. While some measures aimed at reducing gun violence have been successful, such as restrictions on high-capacity magazines, comprehensive assault weapons bans have proven difficult to pass.

Author: CrimeDoor

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