On Thursday, Senate Democrats unveiled a sweeping new proposal that targeted three longtime goals of gun control advocates: closing background check “loopholes,” strengthening the background check system, and cracking down on straw purchasing and gun trafficking. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) addressed the issue in a letter to the Senate on Wednesday, and shortly afterwards Senate Democrats took to their social media platforms to support the proposal.

“We cannot stand by any longer—time to pass common sense gun legislation to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands,” Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) wrote on Twitter.

“How many must be killed before we #StopGunViolence? Need to expand background checks, close loopholes & make #guntrafficking federal crime,” wrote Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who linked to the hashtag used by Senate Democrats to rally support on Twitter and other social media.

Today, we are announcing our principles for new gun safety legislation. Here’s our plan to #StopGunViolence

Posted by U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday, October 8, 2015

The first element of the new gun control package was revealed last week when Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) announced a bill geared towards removing the 72-hour limit on background checks. Currently with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the FBI has three days to conduct a background check, where the bureau looks through the applicant’s criminal history, mental health records, and other factors that could result in the application being denied. Typically the process is very fast, but if it is not completed within three days, the applicant is allowed to purchase the firearm.

According to the New York Times, this “loophole” was what allegedly allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun he used to shoot nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina church.

“Clearly the 72-hour limit has real-life consequences,” Senator Blumenthal told the Times in an interview. “I am exasperated and frustrated and angry because Congress has utterly failed in a basic, essential responsibility to protect the public against dangerous people having firearms.”

Other parts of the gun control package will touch on background checks as well, as well as what supporters called “shutting down the illegal gun pipeline.” Observers have drawn parallels between the current proposal and the failed Manchin-Toomey bill in 2013, which also sought to strengthen the background check system after the tragic Newtown shooting in the previous year. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who helped write the bill in 2013, says he continues to support what he called “common sense” gun reform.

“It made sense then, it’s been out there for two and a half years, it makes sense now,” Manchin told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

However, critics say that despite broad support from Senate Democrats, the current proposal is not likely to make much headway in a Republican-controlled Senate. Political observers also noted that the proposal has even less of a chance in the House, where Republicans have a significant majority.

Image from joshlopezphoto on the flickr Creative Commons

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  • MORRIS HOLLIS

    WHY ARE WE NOT LOOKING AT WHY THESE PEOPLE SHOOT UP THE GUN FREE ZONES – IT IS NOT BECAUSE THEY OWN A GUN! PEOPLE WAKE UP. WHAT IS SO WRONG IN OUR COUNTRY THAT MAKES PEOPLE DO THIS? MAYBE THEY ARE JUST BAD PEOPLE, BUT IF THE PRESIDENT IS SERIOUS ABOUT SAVING LIVES – WHY NOT DO AWAY WITH CARS? WHY NOT ARREST AND GET RID OF ALL KNOWN GANG MEMEBRS? WHY NOT DO AWAY WITH ANYONE COMMITTING MURDER? NO WE RELEASE DANGEROUS CRIMINALS EVERYDAY ONTO OUR STREETS – WE ALLOW CRIMINALS TO CROSS OUR BORDERS EACH DAY, BUT THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO TAKE OUR GUNS……BETTER WAKE UP AMERICA

    • fw

      You might note a few facts, 2 million turned down in legitimate gun sales checks, 148 moved off death row as found they did not commit crime. “Do away with” is rather Goebbels type propaganda.

  • Chuck Wagon

    I 2X WHAT MIRRIS HOLLIS SAID! LOOK AT CRAPPY KOMIFORNIA WHERE THE “DEAR LEADER” GOV. JERRY BROWN JUST TWO DAYS AGO SIGNED INTO LAW A BILL THAT OUTLAWS LAW ABIDING CCW HOLDERS FROM POSSESING A FIREARM NEAR ANY PUBLIC/PRIVATE K-12 SCHOOL AND ANY COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY! SERIOUSLY, WTF??? GEE WHEN THERE WAS AT LEAST A 1% CHANCE OF SURVIVAL AT A SCHOOL WHEN A MAD-MAN BRINGS IN A GUN, THAT CCW HOLDER MAY HAVE PRVEMTD MORE TRAJEDY. NOT ANY MORE. NOW WE HAVE ABSOLUTLEY “GUN-FREE / DEFENSELESS” SCHOOL ZONES HERE IN THIS FU(KED UP STATE. THANK YOU GOVERNOR MOON-BEAM!! YEAH THIS LAW IS REALLY GOING TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN!

    I KNOW, WHY DONT OUR POLITICIANS GET TOUGH AND JUST COME OUT WITH “COMMON SENSE” LAWS THAT MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO COMMIT “MURDER” ALL TOGETHER? NOW THAT WOULD REALLY STOP THE MADNESS BECAUSE THEN THE CROOKS WOULD FINALLY BE PUT ON NOTICE THAT ITS NOW ILLEGAL TO KILL SOMEONE! …..BRILLIANT, RIGHT??

  • Andrew

    Scream & yell all you want but just remember that gun control & the agenda of the left have absolutely NOTHING to do with crime. If it did then we would have the safest cities in the world in Chicago, Baltimore, & any other gun restrictive zone. This is all about control, & until they can do away with the 2nd Amendment they will never get the kind of government here that they want.