During the November elections, a number of Democratic House candidates made gun control a central theme of their midterm campaign, and dozens more gave the issue strong emphasis on the trail. Next month, they might have a chance to follow through on their campaign promises with legislation requiring federal background checks on all gun sales.
The legislation isn’t likely to become law. It will be a bit like Republican House efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act back in 2017, said Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law professor at UCLA: a symbolic gesture that never becomes the law of the land, but that nonetheless serves a political purpose.
While the GOP’s attempts to repeal the ACA ultimately hurt some Republicans in the midterm elections, Democrats believe their gun-control efforts will help the cause.“It’ll show two things,” said Representative Mike Thompson of California, the chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, in an interview, “that we care about our community’s safety, and it’ll show that we listen to voters.”
House Democrats, led by Thompson, are planning to introduce the legislation within the first 100 days of the new Congress, according to a report from Politico on Monday. “The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. And activists want to do it by February 14, the one-year anniversary of the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida.