By SARAH GRACE TAYLOR
Gun control: the utmost divisive issue in modern American politics. Some believe the Constitution protects all gun ownership, others believe they are unsafe in the hands of civilians and some believe everything in between.
In the wake of a horrible mass shooting like the one at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week, emotions stir up the nation’s political beliefs, resulting in a battle of safety and liberty. Unsurprisingly, legislators respond to these events as well, adding to consistent stream of gun legislation being considered.
In a time when it’s as relevant as ever, we’ve compiled a rundown on the two major gun control measures currently being considered:
While not yet in legislation, a huge wave of support has brought regulations on bump stocks, an accessory used in the Las Vegas shooting which allows semi-automatic weapons to function as automatic weapons.
Beginning with a call from the most notoriously pro-gun organization in the country, the National Rifle Association (NRA), last week, Republicans and Democrats have now agreed that there need to be regulations around these stocks.
In a press conference Wednesday, Speaker of the House and Republican gun advocate Paul Ryan said that he agrees with the push for regulation but not law on the issue.
“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and I’d frankly like to know how it happened in the first place,” Ryan said Wednesday at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
While most Democrats and some Republicans believe legislative action is necessary, Ryan and others of his party would rather leave it up to regulatory changes by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In a step away from gun control, a measure to amend existing gun legislation called the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act is being considered in Congress.
The GOP sponsored changes to the act would make it easier for noise suppression apparatuses commonly referred to as “silencers” to be purchased by eliminating required background checks.
While some lawmakers are concerned the act would make mass shootings easier, supporters of this amendment (the Hearing Protection Act) claim silencers are designed to protect hunters.
Confident that the bill will pass the senate and be approved by President Trump, the NRA began singing its praises last month before the House committee vote.
America’s gun owners have been waiting for many years for Congress to send the SHARE Act to the president’s desk,” the NRA’s legislative arm wrote last month when the bill was introduced. “Their patience may now be rewarded with the strongest, most far-reaching version of the Act yet.”