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Following Boulder mass shooting, is new gun control legislation possible in Congress?

Not much has happened following previous mass shootings
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Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 18:54:31-04

WASHINGTON — The nation has now faced two major mass shootings in a span of less than a week.

Ten people died in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket on Monday. Last week, the country was mourning the loss of eight deaths in shootings in the Atlanta area.

But will any of this prompt a change in gun laws?

PRESIDENT BIDEN AND DEMOCRATS

President Joe Biden again called on Congress to pass a ban on assault rifles during remarks Tuesday.

The president made a similar plea last month, in addition to calling for background checks for all gun sales and restrictions on high-capacity magazines. However, Democrats have called for similar gun control measures for years and nothing has happened.

While Democrats control the House and Senate, under current rules, they most likely do not have enough votes. That is because 60 votes are needed in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and there are only 50 Democrats.

At least one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has expressed concerns with some gun control proposals.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN

Biden could attempt to issue executive orders related to gun violence.

The president could also push Senate leaders to abolish the filibuster, which would mean laws could pass with 51 votes instead of 60. However, both have limits and create controversy.

Whatever happens, Biden and Democrats will attempt to pass changes in a partisan environment.

During a Senate hearing Tuesday, which was scheduled prior to the Boulder shooting, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) referred to the committee's gun control proposals as "political theater," a sign of how polarizing the topic of guns has become.

The National Rifle Association in 2020 gave 94 percent of Congressional Republicans A grades and 92 percent of Democrats F grades.