Reid introduces gun violence bill
March 21st, 2013
06:15 PM ET
1 year 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. Jimh77

    GUNS are NOT the problem of society. I am more and more convinced the problem with Society is our Government continuously removing or trying to remove Americans rights on an almost daily basis. Constantly interfering with Americans lives daily not in a good way, but ways that just frustrates Americans leading them to be depressed.
    20 years ago, did you ever hear of anti depressants being advertised on TV like they are today? Are there that many people that are depressed in America? Our Government is the problem. Not our weapons that the law abiding citizens of America own. We need to fix our Government that no longer represents it's people.

    March 22, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Passing new laws There are no "assault rifles" on the market on the law abiding citizens and ignoring the millions that applied and were turned down because of a background check...now that makes Reid's kind of common sense.

    March 22, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Name Scotty koman.

    why argue the point 80%
    Of the people or more have them.

    March 22, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Mike

    Gun registration is step 1 for gun confiscation. Why is it so hard to see that? The ultimate goal of the Democrats on this issue is to attempt to completely disarm us to comply with the U.N. treaty, which we don't have to follow by the way. If these bills pass the power will shift back to the Republicans and with the likes of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal establishing a newer GOP, Democrats will have a harder time regaining the upper hand. This is the beginning of the end for the Dems.

    March 22, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Jimh77

    GUNS are NOT the problem of society. I am more and more convinced the problem with Society is our Government continuously removing or trying to remove Americans rights on an almost daily basis. Constantly interfering with Americans lives daily not in a good way, but ways that just frustrates Americans leading them to be depressed.
    20 years ago, did you ever hear of anti depressants being advertised on TV like they are today?
    -----------------
    Uh, dude. Twenty years ago is was illegal to advertise prescription medications on TV.

    Yes, guns are the problem. When disturbed people get their hands on a gun, then they commit disturbing acts of violence.

    March 22, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If the issue here is about people's sovereign rights to possess what ever kinds of weapons they so choose and less about the safety and sovereignty of a kid to go to school and get an education without being gunned down or less about the freedom of a family to take their love ones to the movies without being massacred, then why are we infringing on Iran's and North Korea's sovereignty to have nuclear weapons??? And why have we spent trillions of dollars in two decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to take away their guns???

    March 22, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. CJ

    The only thing significant issue I have about the universal background checks is the same issue I have with todays more limited program...having a firearm background check done or a permit to own a handgun should be confidential information not disclosed under the freedom of information act.

    Your choice to exorcize your 2nd amendment right should not require a public listing of your name, address and other personal information.

    March 22, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Passing new laws on law-abiding citizens while ignoring the millions that applied and were turned down because of existing background checks is Reid's kind of common sense.

    March 22, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. ILoveGeico

    Stop the crap about gun confiscation. We liberals need those guns more than you.

    March 22, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Mike

    Rudy NYC

    Yes, guns are the problem. When disturbed people get their hands on a gun, then they commit disturbing acts of violence.

    March 22, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
    -------------------------------------

    Mentally disturbed people can do the same with a car, a bat, a knife, a bomb, and the list goes on. Saying the tool is the problem is ignoring the actual problem.

    March 22, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. can't get no bullets

    They are already buying all the ammo so you can't find it in stores. Obama will win one way or another. if you have no ammo, your gun is worthless. the govt already bought up enough ammo to fight a 30 year war.

    March 22, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Name will

    The people of the us just need to move out and start there own country with infrastructure and building and have no connection with the central bank or what would be left in the us, using the same constitution, and bill of rights,
    Let the system and the ones that want to stay have the dump they have now created, pretty simple,

    March 22, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. scarecrow

    The problem is not the guns nor is it the government taking away our rights!!! The problem is we have become a society that holds a prison record with more esteem than a diploma, a degree or even a W2 combined! THAT is the disease. Everything else is just a symptom. If my neighbor was someone like Neil deGrasse I wouldn't worry one bit if he kept a stockpile of phosgene gas in his garage. But no. Everyone wants to be Scareface these days because that is what we as a society reward with attention and admiration. It is beyond pathetic. It is so much easier o be feared than respected. So much easier to be pull a trigger than to help. So much easier to destroy than to create. Fix the disease instead of managing the symptoms and ALL sides walk away happy. Is everyone really that blind?

    March 22, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. Name

    Everyone ask yourself a couple of question before you ever say anything good or bad about gun control... and if you can answer the queestion logically and truthfully then your points will be valid
    1) what makes a criminal a criminal?
    2) don't we already outlaw murder, rape, and use of illegal narcatics?

    These 2 questions alone put any argument about banning guns from law abiding citizens out of question. A criminal is called so BECAUSE he/she breaks an established law. And if laws worked and stopped everyone from doing something then that means that we shouldn't have any murders, rapes, illegal drug cartels, home invasions, the underground slave trading (traditional and sexual slaves). But guess what.. all of those things are outlawed in every country! And we still have the first s at least in every city!

    When guns are outlawed, I plan on becoming an outlaw! For only outlaws and the government will have guns.. and I'm not working for something that corrupt

    March 22, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Name

    "When a law that is unconstitional is made, it is the sole duty of the citizens to ignore and purposely break that law every chance they get"

    - thomas jefferson

    You really want to argue with him?

    March 22, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    While we debate the issue of whether or not to pass stronger gun laws, I believe we should also debate Plan B. And that is if congress does not act on stronger gun laws, how do we go about making our schools and shopping malls and other public facilities safer. Perhaps congress needs to pass legislation making it mandatory for every school and public facility in America to have armed guards. We have to do something one way or the other. Why should we wait for another senseless school massacre or massacre in another theatre or public facility to happen, only to turn the other cheek and say, gee this is just a way of life in America??? We have tens of thousands of Veterans out there with no job. I say hire them and put them on patrol to defend the homeland and their fellow citizens.

    March 22, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Jimh77

    Rudy NYC,
    When disturbed people get their hands on a gun, then they commit disturbing acts of violence.
    -------------
    Where in your statement above, are the guns the problem? GUNS are NOT the problem.

    March 22, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Mike wrote:

    Mentally disturbed people can do the same with a car, a bat, a knife, a bomb, and the list goes on. Saying the tool is the problem is ignoring the actual problem.
    -----------------------–
    The tool becomes the problem when disturbed individuals and violent felons are granted unlimited and unrestricted access to theose tools.

    No one is going to take guns away from law abiding citizens if there were a national gun registry. Unbeknownst to those who make the slippery slope arguments, that registration leads to confiscation, I will point out again that a national gun registry already exists for "automatic" weapons like machine guns. It has existed since the 1930s, and not one registered machine gun has ever been confiscated. If anything, the national registry serves more to guarantee that it cannot be confiscated because the weapon's ownership has been documented and authenticated. Gun collectors can keep their "tommy" guns.

    March 22, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. steve

    I recently purchased an ar-15. Already have a semi pistol. Mostly to defend myself and property should the need arise from wing nuts like Ted.

    March 22, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Floriduh

    Sounds great in theory, doesn't work in practice. 10-20-Life was more of a campaign slogan than an actual safeguard for the citizenry because those counts are nearly always dropped when the plea agreement (to a much lesser sentence) is adopted. It's a joke really.

    March 22, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Jimh77 wrote:

    Rudy NYC, Where in your statement above, are the guns the problem? GUNS are NOT the problem.
    -------------
    Ever visit a prison or a secure mental institution before? You are not allowed to bring some types of items into the facility because those items are a potential "problem" in the hands of a resident.

    March 22, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Bob

    Has anyone bothered to read the report from the police about Adam Lanza ? The guns were not the problem. The most hysterical comments on this seem to be from the anti- gun people.

    March 22, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. tobyinNH

    I am a NRA member. I have no problem with background checks. I have a problem with registry. We have laws in the USA to prevent this. They were passes after world war 2 after seeing what happened in Nazi Germany. The government does not need to know what we own.
    Want to close the make believe gun show loophole? Require a background check on everyone before entering the show. If you are a criminal, a police officer will be waiting for you. If you pass you are free to buy what ever you want, happy shopping!
    Online sales... If you look online at a gun sale right now, yes you can buy a gun online but they have to be shipped to a dealer. Then you have to go in to pick it up and pass a background check! That is happening right now!
    No registry and i am all for background checks.
    Hell open it up so I can bring my gun to a dealer with a buyer for a background check for a private sale too!
    Dont make it complicated

    March 22, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Mike

    Rudy NYC

    The tool becomes the problem when disturbed individuals and violent felons are granted unlimited and unrestricted access to *these* tools.
    -------–

    So are you advocating a ban on anything that could be used to kill another person? Sounds like that's what you just said. I don't know if the politicians would go for it though...we'd be reduced to a society similar to the one in Demolition Man where everything negative is illegal and you have no rights.

    March 22, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    let's face it, its impossible to determine who's mentally and psychologically fit to possess a gun and who is not. So often in our society, people who were once considered sane end up going on a shooting spree. We cannot detect who would use a gun to kill but what we CAN detect is that all guns were created for the purpose of killing. Therefore, guns are the problems. But as I said earlier, if our congress and the American people aren't going to get serious about widespread assault weapons in our society, lets resort to Plan B and start hiring armed guards to safeguard Americans in public facilities. As far as home security is concerned, its up to the individual family to make that decision. First, let's have an up or down vote in congress and then go to Plan B which is protecting the millions of vulnerable Americans out there who don't have guns to defend themselves or who are too young or too old to do so. Its our government's duty and responsibility.

    March 22, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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