Reid introduces gun violence bill
March 21st, 2013
06:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Reid introduces gun violence bill

(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid formally introduced a much-anticipated gun bill Thursday, his office announced. The Senate is expected to debate the legislation when the upper chamber returns from a two-week recess.

The bill, released just over three months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, is made up of three measures. One measure expands the background check system, while the other two deal with school safety and gun trafficking.

“The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate," Reid, the Senate’s leading Democrat, said in a statement.

Reacting to the news that the Senate will consider a universal background check bill, NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told CNN they are "strongly opposed" to the legislation, which was initially pushed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York.

“We have made our position clear, and we will do whatever we can to defeat it,” Arulanandam said.

The NRA has been running print and television ads in recent weeks against the idea of expanding background checks, and the group is expected to unveil news ads in the coming weeks.

“All options are on the table,” Arulanandam added.

Schumer, however, said in a statement this bill "moves the ball forward on gun safety in the Senate."

Reid will allow votes on amendments related to an assault weapons ban, high-capacity magazines and mental health provisions.

While there are some fierce advocates for the assault weapons ban, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Reid said earlier this week that he didn't believe the measure would get enough support on the floor but promised he would allow a vote through an amendment.

"In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do," he said.

Vice President Joe Biden, who's been a leading voice from the Obama administration on gun violence, commended Reid via Twitter.

– CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Lee

    "shall not be infringed" What is so hard to understand that phrase?

    March 21, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  2. Woody

    I am sure the criminals will obey the new laws ! They always do ?

    March 21, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  3. wskibum

    I just don't get it. There are millions of the M4, AR-15, AK weapons and clips already in th public domain. What possible use is a bill that closes the barn door after the horse is gone. Also, there is no proof (that has been presented to me) that such a bill would actually do anything to reduce "gun violence". Show me an example where is has worked anywhere in the US Politician are such idiots.

    March 21, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Taxpaying Voter

    Nothing deals with keeping criminals behind bars or keeping crazy people away from guns. The Dems want to do everything to deal with the problem except deal with the PROBLEMS.

    March 21, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  5. MICHAEL WHITE

    Typical blame the gun, not person mentality. We have to return to the idea of personal responsibility and quit trying to penalize the majority for actions of a tiny minority. I do want to say to everybody though, the NRA is a civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding our Rights and Freedoms under the 2nd amendment. So, they have a duty and obligation to fight for those Rights. Just like the NAACP or ACLU, they do not ever advocate restricting their Rights.

    March 21, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. grampajim

    How about a bill, to go after criminals, and leave law abiding citizens alone? I have never seen, or heard of any outlaw running into a business he's going to rob, stop at the door, and lay his weapon down=(because the sign on the door) you know, the red circle with the NO GUNS ALLOUD SYMBLE!!!

    March 21, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  7. Rogue351

    Legal gun buyers are supposedly "Responsible gun owners" so says the NRA. If a gun owner is actually responsible then why do we have so many illegal guns on our streets ? A "Responsible gun Owner" respects his or hers weapon, locks it up or keeps it close. If that is in fact the case I want the NRA to tell us how exactly the criminals got the guns they are using and selling ? The Fast and Furious incident was literally a drop in a bucket compared to the amount of illegal guns on the streets. This fact leads to only one conclusion, "Responsible Gun Owners" are really not that responsible. But, because it is our right we are free to purchase and discard, sell and allow to be stolen as many weapons as we want, or so the NRA once again leads us to believe. It is a fact that a gun will not kill a person by its self, it needs a person to fire it. So why is the NRA so against background checks that would help with this ? We have the answer to how this happened, the NRA supports unlimited gun sales to make money. They do so backed by the second amendment. The GOP and the Tea Party has been saying for the last 5 years that people need to take responsibility for themselves, I agree. Gun owners need to be responsible in securing their weapons. If you choose to buy a gun it should be tied to YOU. It is now your responsibility. If you sell it and you sell it to a criminal it is your responsibility, so you better know who you are selling to. If it is stollen from you they have it insured for the cost of the weapon and the possible damage it can cause in the wrong hands. Allow people to buy whatever they want but make them responsible. And, make the people using the weapons against us more responsible for their actions. It is obviously a two way street or we would not have the gun crimes because the weapons would not be on the streets.

    March 22, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  8. Dennis

    If the goal of the background check is to catch the people (straw buyers) that are selling to the "bad guys" without doing a background check, the only way to accomplish this is to record the buyer, seller and serial number of the gun and the date. That is a Gun Registry, and that will never pass.

    So your two outcomes are

    1) The law will be ineffective and unenforceable (without a registry) – because it can't catch the straw buyers (this is the status quo, by the way)
    or
    2) The law will never pass because it includes a registry.

    So what's the point again, Mr. Reid? To say that you tried to do something, but knowing it will never pass or never be effective?

    March 22, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  9. Karen

    Why do these bolsheviks want to disarm Americans.

    March 22, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  10. Marc Florida

    We will get to sensible gun regulation. It's a battle against a powerful lobby and a delusional interpretation of the 2nd Ammendment. However, enough Americans are letting politicians know that they have had enough of the violence and killing by guns. The wall opposing gun regulation is cracking. My kudos to the Governor of Colorado signing his Bill, more will follow. In the end votes count more than lobbying dollars by some very evil industries.

    March 22, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  11. BangGuns2013

    There is no sensible reason why any civilian needs to own a firearm.

    March 22, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  12. Nicholas Smith

    AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WITHOUT GUNS: Go ahead, move to one of them. But if you want to live here, remember that your right to live freely here was won with the lives and blood of a legion of people with guns that fought and killed with those guns. In fact, they are still doing it. So quit complaining, quit trying to disarm the rest of us, and be happy. God bless and keep you.

    March 22, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  13. jack

    Give up freedom for liberty and you shall get neither.

    March 22, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  14. Thomas

    The Senate has soundly rejected a balanced budget plan authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
    Five Republicans joined every Democrat present to kill the measure, which failed on a 40-59 vote.

    Paul Ryan , not a good bill.

    March 22, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  15. Joe

    About time, how many more kids need to die before they get an up or down vote?

    March 22, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  16. Anders Behring Breivik (King of the Island)

    Hey..I am back! I know that my american friends/supporters missed me but underwent some treatment (Clockwork Orange) and maybe will be out soon. Anyway...how is ur gun ban coming along? You ALL know that no ban of anything will prevent anything..trust me..I KNOW what I am talking about.

    March 22, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  17. Me 3

    The failure to act on bans on assault weapons and high capacity clips is an insult to those lost at Newtown, CT. I will do everything n my power to defeat the Republican Senator and Represenitive that represent my district next election cycle. These people are in the pocket of the NRA. It is time to send a message that they have crossed the line.

    March 22, 2013 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  18. Swamplife

    The government never uses common sense. They can make more laws but criminals do not follow the law. I can't believe these elected and appointed officials are the best the United States has to offer. We are in worse shape then I thought.
    Its no wonder why we can not balance the budget they all need ADD meds. Hey Look A Squirrel ......

    March 22, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  19. Nick

    Leave it to Reid to put forth a bill that a) has no chance of passing; and b) won't do a thing to deter violence while ignoring legislation that has already passed the House and never sees the light of day in the Senate.

    March 22, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  20. Oscar

    In the game of scapegoating of legal gun owners not one thing in Reid's bill deals with the real constant and cause in American crime and violence: the number of felons on the streets

    March 22, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  21. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    You are not wasting any time trying to take away the rights of law abiding citizens, but be warned you may not like the storm that is coming, because the clouds are moving in.

    March 22, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  22. JDalco

    Simple. NO you cannot have our civil rights. Nothing in this bill will stop a criminal and they know it. Prohibition did not work in the past, fails now for drugs and won't stop them from getting any gun they want. . . . GET OFF OUR RIGHTS

    March 22, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  23. Marie MD

    About time. Even that slober fool lapierre and the nra were for background checks not that long ago.
    What changed? The extremist right wing crazies, and lapierre is certainly one of them, changed.

    March 22, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  24. Tundra_Yet_Again

    "In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do," he said.
    And just how is he going to ensure that congress does anything? If he had that kind of power, then he should be fixing all kins of things.

    March 22, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  25. American

    Does anyone really think background checks will work? Straw purchasing is already illegal, you must go through a background check at gun shows (gunshow loophole is a myth) and criminals won't stop looking for guns because they are in fact just that...criminals. Knee jerk reactions by a bunch of jerks.

    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED

    March 22, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
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