The compromise made by 14 Senate Republicans this week on the fundamental Second Amendment civil rights of Americans is being seen by many, especially Democrats, as just the beginning.
The 14 GOP senators broke away from basic Republican platform policy and the preferences of their constituents to clear the way for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to rush through a final vote on the bill past the Senate filibuster rule. The bill will then almost certainly be quickly approved by the House and signed into law by Joe Biden.
The compromise bill includes a variety of provisions that are part of the Democratic Party’s wish list for federal gun regulations, including expanded background check requirements and the promotion of state “red flag” laws that would allow for the seizure of guns with dubious due process protections.
Senators voted on the compromise bill little more than an hour after its text was released, ensuring that there was no meaningful opportunity for the public or opposing senators to offer criticism or amendments.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) led the way in cobbling together a group of Republican senators who support the gun control measure. He was asked to take on that role by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who vigorously supported the agreement that was reached.
Cornyn and McConnell were joined in voting in favor of the bill by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Todd Young (R-IN).
Murkowski and Young are running for re-election this year. Blunt, Burr, and Portman are all retiring from the Senate this year. The others will be up for re-election in 2024 or 2026.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) appeared on MSNBC on Wednesday and said that the Republican compromise “paves the way for even more progress in the future.” He added that could be “the legacy of the bill in the long run.”
Murphy said that the NRA “got everything they wanted” for 30 years in Washington. He said that in the wake of Uvalde, senators found “doing nothing could not be an option.”