GOP Weighs Different Approaches to Gun Laws, Amid Mixed Signals From White House
(INDIANAPOLIS) - Congressional Republicans are deciding how far they're willing to go on gun legislation.
The Democratic House has already passed a bill expanding background checks for gun buyers. All seven Indiana Republicans in the House voted against it, and the Republican Senate has so far ignored Democratic demands to bring it to a vote. Indiana Congressman Jim Banks maintains the bill wouldn't stop a single mass shooting, but might interfere with legitimate actions like hunters sharing a gun.
Banks says he'd prefer better enforcement of existing laws, like a law passed last year aimed at making sure federal agencies promptly update the background-check database with new information. He argues there have been several instances where the acquisition of guns used in mass shootings was already illegal, but slipped through the cracks. And Banks says he'd consider bills modeled on red flag laws in Indiana and 16 other states. Those laws vary from state to state, but typically allow prosecutors or family members to ask a judge to rule someone is a danger to himself or others, and authorize police to confiscate any firearms.
Banks says he'd prefer to see states make their own decisions on red flag laws. But he says he'd consider South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham's bill to give federal money to states to enforce those flag laws.
President Trump has sent conflicting signals on this week on whether he'd support expanding background checks.
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