Fate of Obama's gun proposal lies with fellow Democrats
January 16th, 2013
11:56 AM ET
1 year ago

Fate of Obama's gun proposal lies with fellow Democrats

Washington (CNN) - Unlike most issues these days that divide along party lines, the immediate fate of President Obama's new gun proposals will depend not as much on Republicans, as his fellow Democrats in the Senate.

Senate Democratic leadership sources admit to CNN that passing any new legislation will be extremely difficult, because more than a dozen vulnerable Democrats from conservative states will likely resist much of what the president is pushing.

These Democratic sources say the most likely legislation to pass will be strengthening background checks, since it is the least overt form of gun control, and it also appeals to gun rights advocates emphasis on keeping guns away from people with mental health and criminal problems.

Although Senate Democrats like Dianne Feinstein will still make a high profile push to renew the assault weapons ban, and limit high capacity magazines to 10 rounds, senior Democratic sources say it is hard to see those measures getting enough support to pass the Democratic led Senate.

The reason the focus is on the Senate, is because Senate Democratic leaders know that House Republicans will not act on anything until the Senate does.

Democratic leadership sources say they intend to spend next week, the first week the Senate is in session, canvassing red-state Democrats to see what – if anything – is doable. Democratic Senators who advocate various gun control measures will be lobbying their colleagues as well.

At a certain point Democratic leaders will decide the best course of action to take, if any. Democratic leadership sources emphasize what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a PBS interview in recent days – they will not hold a vote on any legislation unless there are 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Democratic leadership sources say they have no intention of putting their members in politically vulnerable position on a gun measure unless they are sure it can reach the president's desk.

In the short term, that would mean not only getting red-state Democrats on board, but at least a handful of Senate Republicans as well.

There is some hope that Democrats may be able to convince GOP Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, a moderate, to play a role in shaping bipartisan legislation that can pass.

That Senate Democrats hope after today the president will make it clearer to the Hill behind the scenes which of these they'll push.


Filed under: Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This nation needs Gun-Control laws.
    PS: hats off to NY.

    January 16, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. jaimie

    With over 300,000,000 "guns" in private hands in the USA it would only be a token measure to stop "gun" violence. The "bad" guys will still have their weapons. Is that not who does these horrible deeds with "guns"? Something does need to be done but there is no quick solution.

    January 16, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. GuestAgain

    We need dumbocrat control Gurgyl. PS: You know what the criminals are saying? Safeties off to NY....you just made crime a less hazardous occupation. And with the geniuses at some of the news outlets posting gun owners addresses they did two things: provided locations where you can steal guns and locations to rob that dont carry any. And all of you fools are happy about giving your rights up to boot.

    January 16, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    So Obama wants to punish gun trafficking.
    HE needs to clean his administration to show he is serious, starting with the "Fast and Furious" group that has supplied guns to the drug gangs in Mexico.
    Or is his laws just for the small people.

    January 16, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. What

    So a mag/clip that holds over 10 rds are considered "high capacity"?

    January 16, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This trend of doing the right thing versus doing what is politically expedient needs to end and end now!!! Whether you're a democrat or a republican, you should do what is in the best interest of the people and worry about elections another day. Many of you will be made examples of in upcoming elections for blocking Sandy Aid Relief and for those who cower to the NRA. Do not test the American People's resolve!!!

    January 16, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I hear arguments against common sense laws that claim that it would hurt law abiding citizens. Okay. So what is the problem with law abiding citizens submitting to background checks? Or registering their weapons? We have to do all of the above with cars, homes, and just about everything else of significance.

    January 16, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "Senate Democratic leadership sources admit to CNN that passing any new legislation will be extremely difficult, because more than a dozen vulnerable Democrats from conservative states will likely resist much of what the president is pushing."
    ---
    Put your political careers where your mouths are.

    January 16, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Name

    With mental illness... Mental health is a good thing

    January 16, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. shotsalot

    I support the President on a Nationwide background check regardless of where you buy a firearm in the USA. Although I don't support any gun bans, gun magazine bans. While the Nationwide background check and bolstering Mental Health in relation to potential gun violence, any gun related ban makes no sense to me and violates my Constitutional right to bear arms. I am relieved that the President didn't enact any gun related bans by executive order, I don't want to see civil unrest. Congress shouldn't legislate any gun bans as well because they took the oath to protect my 2nd amendment and any action changing my rights will be considered treasonous. CNN always plays the "POLL" game where they twist the wording such as "stricter gun control laws" and their polls are unbalanced due to the source of the polls taken. I'm not for stricter gun control laws but I support a nationwide background check regardless where a gun is purchased. Felons and the mentally ill shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun period. I do fear any intention of the Federal Government having the power to classify a US citizen as mentally ill, this determination should be at the hand of the the professional in the medical field and any individual labeled as mentally ill should have a history of such illness. The failed defenses of you don't need to shoot a deer with a military style firearm or you don't need 30 rounds to kill an animal are just plain lame. I retort you don't need all of those golf clubs to hit a ball. Less government is what we need.

    January 16, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "Senate Democratic leadership sources admit to CNN that passing any new legislation will be extremely difficult, because more than a dozen vulnerable Democrats from conservative states will likely resist much of what the president is pushing."
    -
    Put your political careers where your mouths are.
    --------------------------------------
    @Fair, you know me and you don't agree on everything, but I agree with you on this. But it doesn't only pertain to democrats, it pertains to Congress as a whole. They need to do the will of the people and not the will of the lobbyists.

    January 16, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Terry

    President Obama has put forth substantial proposals. These proposals are not as strict as the gun laws are in his hometown of Chicago. In 2012 Chicago had 506 people murdered and 464 school-age children were shot.
    Evidently the criminal element in Chicago is not heeding the local gun laws.

    January 16, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Katc

    I received a "roto call" from the NRA requesting immediate funds to run a $400,000 ad campaign on Fox News against the president's gun control proposals. First off, I am not a NRA member, Second, I would never support an ad on Fox News. I think I was on a list because I reside in a rural red state. Purpose??? Ka ching, Ka ching to both . No controls to limit our Greed, Kids are just a casualty of war.

    January 16, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. duchessofpercy

    I am so, so sick of hearing this president exploit the children for his messed up, un-American, un-Patriotic and Immoral views... He is committed to throwing children's safety and feelings in your face as reasons for his actions when they have absolutely nothing to do with either. He is a snake in the grass and it is nauseating to watch so much of the un-Informed citizens of this nation play right into his Agenda. They will be screaming for his head, after he is long gone and too late for Americans to do much to reverse any of it. Wake up, people!!! America belongs to its people, not its Government... and certainly not this radical, with his Un-American Agenda. You are selling out our God given rights to sound politically correct and compassionate. You are selling out for "free" birth control, atheists to trample religion and "free" Obama phones... all these things don't keep us Free... they enslave all of us none of it is freeing and none of it is free. This is not what you think is enlightenment... we are, unfortunately, headed for dark days. Shame on the people that elected him and those that have no interest to truly inform themselves on what really goes on in Washington and behind Obama's "I'm such a cool guy" facade. And please, stop looking to Hollywood actors to tell you all how to vote... they are nothing but a group of hedonists that never want to feel the guilt that comes with it or the possibility of being labeled as such ever again. True enlightenment is information and knowledge and the key to our freedom... not the blind "enlightenment" the Borg is chanting every time Obama speaks his lies and drivel.

    January 16, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "Evidently the criminal element in Chicago is not heeding the local gun laws."

    What's going on in Chicago is gang related. The violence will eventually die down because the one's doing the shooting will either be dead or in jail.

    January 16, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Terry

    President Obama has put forth substantial proposals. These proposals are not as strict as the gun laws are in his hometown of Chicago. In 2012 Chicago had 506 people murdered and 464 school-age children were shot. Evidently the criminal element in Chicago is not heeding the local gun laws.
    ------------------------
    Psst, Terry. The NRA led a court fight to overturn Chicago's handgun ban a few years ago. The laws that you are talking about simply do not exist. The gun violence has exploded ever since the law was overturned in 2008, I think it was.

    January 16, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Angrywhiteman

    The decline in morality and family values are the reasons for all the gun violence. The Democrats have demonized moral, married, god fearing people and pretty much banished them to the closet. Almost all of the violent crimes (including gun crimes) are committed by non-christian, children of divorcees and illegitimate children. This is not racist, it is statistical fact.

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. 2012liberal

    @ca indepenent, not really ind from the sounds of it. Just a rethug that doesnt want 2 b acknowledged 2 gop party. U asked 'how about inforcing laws already on books?' sweetheart where have u been? You would actually have 2 HIRE someone for that position. And congress has been crying for 4 years about spending. U know all that govt spending on all those govt jobs that have been cut by 700,000 and now possibly more. Stop the whining. U dont get 2 hv it both ways! Btw no atf director since 2007 b cuz they wont allow obama 2 appoint ppl. Just filibuster everyone. If u were a true ind u would b knowledgable about those facts. Not spouting fox bovine scat. @rs cant agree w u more on previous posts!

    January 16, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. CBP

    The issue of gun control should not be dependent on the popularity or politics of any one person. To those who feel that the President is exploiting this issue should think back to the dat these children who massacred and to the days when others were massacred. Political ideology did not come into play. Republicans and Democrats need to sit down and bring forward legislation and regulations that the majority can accept. That is how we do things in the USA. A person's right to liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness is paramount and no one has more rights than anyone else. We have a right to be safe just as folks have the second amendment right to own guns. Perhaps it is time for people to stop putting labels on people and to stop vilifying the President and others. We have a duly elected president and we need to work together for the next four years. Some of these statements are embarrassing and display folks anger and resentment because their candidate did not win.

    January 16, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |