Top House Dem: Gun lobby likely to block new laws
September 17th, 2013
01:19 PM ET
12 months ago

Top House Dem: Gun lobby likely to block new laws

Washington (CNN) – The number two House Democrat believes the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard will renew the debate over gun control, but admitted that outside groups opposed to any new restrictions make it unlikely that Congress will enact any new laws.

"If the past is prologue that prologue is not very helpful," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, referencing failed attempts on Capitol Hill to pass new gun laws after previous mass shootings, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

The Maryland Democrat said there are "mixed messages," noting that public opinion polls show overwhelming support for enhanced background check laws. But at the same time he said politicians noticed when two Colorado legislators recently lost their elected posts for supporting those laws.

Hoyer said stronger background checks used to be supported by some gun rights groups, "but the politics have changed and yes, the groups in this instance –on these single issues - obviously hold a great sway, particularly in a Republican party," Hoyer said.

Hoyer also told reporters that Republicans aren’t going to bring up a gun control bill on the House floor. And a GOP leadership aide reiterated they have no plans to move any legislation unless the Senate passes something first.

Three of the victims killed in the shooting at the Navy Yard lived in Hoyer's suburban Maryland district.


Filed under: Gun control • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Over 2 million times per year a gun is used in self defense.

    September 17, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Abbey

    Liberal lobby likely to block background checks to prevent future incidents like this. If this discriminates from someone getting a job based on their color regardless of their past history no big deal.

    September 17, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    The gun lobby does NOT represent WE THE PEOPLE!

    September 17, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    instead of shaking your head and saying "what's the use," why don't you make them show up and argue their rationale behind blocking laws that would have prohibited this troubled young man from obtaining weapons in the first place.

    September 17, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wong, wrong, wrong... No "LOBBY" can block anything. Only gutless congress persons can...

    September 17, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    No news here. The NRA has these politicians shook to death. Particularly those on the right. They should all grow a pair as Manchin and Toomey did.

    September 17, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. rs

    The toughest part of this discussion/debate revolves around the role of the NRA in driving the "no restrictions" language that becomes GOP policy. Clearly, a vast majority of Americans see the problem with unfettered gun access- innocent people die (more than 7200 this tear alone so far). No rational person recommends "taking guns", but clearly there needs to be responsibility on the part of the guns lobby. It is not beyond logic to demand better background checking, nor does a registry violate the 2nd Amendment. It would seem supremely logical that if we have to buy automobile insurance (for damages we may cause incur by accident) that gun owners step up and do the right thing- own all the weapons you wish- but undergo the requisite checks so we know you aren't a criminal, drug addict or a kook. The NRA apparently has a database of its members and their guns, why not law enforcement. It is done that way in other first world nations, and it works. Gun bans and automatic weapons restrictions are problematic, and may never become reality, but we all have an interest in keeping firearms away from children, criminals and the insane. It IS the best step forward.

    The risk of ignoring this is clear. The day may not be far off when Americans will reject the 2nd Amendment, and demand far sterner actions that will limit the legitimate rights of legitimate gun owners. The NRA is not being smart by in essense saying 8,000 needless deaths in America is price for a very few's "freedom". Meanwhile if the GOP were smart, they would step away from the ever more radical and crazy sounding NRA (really? guns for blind people?!).

    September 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I'm not advocating for it, but nothing will get done unless the tragedy hits them personally. Let it happen to be one of their children, or husband or wife gunned down like a dog, then their opinion will be swayed. Until then, keep dreaming on passing gun control.

    September 17, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Mark

    As long as average Joe interprets the First amendment as his right to bear nuclear weapon we will have these shooting and the lobbyist, the owners of the guns industries, the representatives and the senators will make their money.

    September 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. jinx9to88

    I can see the article now – NRA will blame Obama and new guns sales will skyrocket. Wayne gets a woody when these mass shooting happen cause he knows he can say Obama is here to take your guns and the wacko crazies will go out there and buy more guns. These people are on foods stamps but the can afford a AR15 for sure.

    September 17, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. 82ndABNVET

    How can you revamp your efforts to ban AR-15s when the shooter didnt even have an AR-15 to begin with?

    This excerpt comes from a CNN article by the way:

    "A U.S. law enforcement official said Monday that gunman Aaron Alexis unleashed a barrage of bullets using an AR-15, a rifle and a semi-automatic handgun. Authorities believed the AR-15 was used for most of the shooting, the official said. The news prompted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest proponents of a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15, to issue a statement the same day asking, "When will enough be enough?"

    However, federal law enforcement sources told CNN Tuesday that authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including one - a shotgun - that investigators believe Alexis brought in to the compound. The other two weapons, which sources say were handguns, may have been taken from guards at the Navy complex.

    The sources, who have detailed knowledge of the investigation, cautioned that initial information that an AR-15 was used in the shootings may have been incorrect. It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday morning's shootings. Authorities are still investigating precisely how many weapons Alexis had access to and when."

    So, it kind of puts out that fire. Just saying.

    September 17, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. PaulG

    New laws for what exactly, firearms that weren't even involved?

    September 17, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Data Driven

    Keep trying, Steny. And again, and again, and again. The people want background checks. Give us what we want.

    September 17, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Wake up People!

    Likely??? The NRA is the most powerful lobby out there. Only their rights count. Those of us that don't want to be surrounded by guns everywhere we go should just sit down and shut up. Apparently we have no rights. Just ask the two Congress people that just lost their jobs last week simply for voting the way some in the state wanted and some didn't. I'm almost positive that many in Congress will just wait for this to blow over for fear of being recalled. It's quite pathetic. Which is why I feel ZERO sympathy for those going through what they are going through in Colorado. It's called karma. Maybe they should use their guns to fight off the floods......

    September 17, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Our Federal Branch of Govt. has become paralyzed by a lunatic fringe from trying to respond to problems facing this Country that Govt. could possibly help make better.

    September 17, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Greg in Arkansas

    As long as people (as instructed by the NRA) interpret "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" as meaning "the right of the people to BUY and SELL arms shall not be infringed"......NO legislation will ever be passed.....so...why not take it a step further and allow everyone (including juveniles, felons and the mentally impaired) to "keep and bear arms" also...???....just sarcastically asking

    September 17, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Greg in Arkansas

    BTW,.....if juveniles, felons and the mentally impaired COULD buy guns, they would'nt have to steal yours or mine.

    September 17, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. kirk

    Gop is nothing but trash

    September 17, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |