Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is planning to force a vote on a gun control amendment, in the wake of two recent mass shooting incidents in the U.S. — one on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California and the other last Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In response to the Colorado Springs shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic that killed three people and injured nine more, Reid (D-Nev.) filed an amendment which would ban gun possession by anyone convicted of misdemeanor violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, Politico reported Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday after the San Bernardino shooting, Reid said there is no excuse for inaction on gun safety legislation, urging for “common sense gun reforms” to prevent criminals and people with mental illnesses from obtaining weapons. “Yet again our country is faced with another sickening act of gun violence perpetrated against innocent people,” he said. “Gun violence has become a cancer on this nation. We are better than this. Too often we are turning on our televisions to scenes of horror like those we are witnessing today. This madness must stop.”
Gun violence has become a cancer on this nation. We must make common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of dangerous hands.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) December 2, 2015
Reid’s amendment comes during consideration of the Republicans’ bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which aims to use the budget reconciliation process to restrict major components of the health law. Multiple Senate Democrats told Roll Call the caucus has been debating a push for gun safety legislation-related votes, but said Reid’s move merely to file an amendment does not mean it will receive even a procedural vote.
Republican Sen. Cory Cardner, who represents Colorado, said after the Colorado Springs shooting that a discussion needs to take place about how to reduce violence in the U.S., but he said he preferred to do it through mental health legislation rather than gun control.
“It’s tragic and something that is an unacceptable action by clearly some very vile, evil actors. I hope that we can address this through mental health issues,” he said. “I think that’s the direction we have to go.”