The U.S. Senate will vote on gun control measures on Monday; prospects for change are low due to conflicting proposals and expected lack of compromise.
This step was reached after Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, from Connecticut, filibustered for 14 hours and 50 minutes in response to the shooting which occurred at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people, pledging allegiance to ISIS during the massacre. Before Murphy took the Senate floor, he promised to filibuster “for as long as I can.”
“It wasn’t just that 40 senators came to the floor and supported my effort to get these votes but there were millions of people across the country who rose up and who joined our effort.”
Senator Chris Murphy and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, from California have both introduced measures. Murphy proposed to expand gun background checks and Feinstein proposed to take more preventative measures to stop people on a government watch list from buying guns. The Justice Department endorsed her proposal. Countering her proposal, Republican Senator John Cornyn, Texas, is proposing that the government delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorist for 72 hours, but mandate prosecutors go to court to show probable cause in order to permanently block the sale. The National Rifle Association and Attorney General Loretta Lynch support this measure, while Democrats and gun control advocates have declared it is not enough.
Democrats are expected to block Republican measures, believing them to not be effective. Republicans are expected to block Democratic measures, believing them to violate threaten the constitutional rights of gun owners.
Senator Murphy’s filibuster was the 9th longest filibuster in recorded history. He ended it after nearly 15 hours; prior to the filibuster, he vowed to speak until he secured the promise of voting on gun control measures. However, despite his efforts and the efforts of other lawmakers, prospects are dim for gun control reform.