Don't let the momentary interruption fool you, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been able to submit a flurry of nationwide gun control proposals to be considered by the Democrat-controlled legislature.
The 117th U.S. Congress gaveled into session this week, and at least a half-dozen anti-gun measures have been filed already with the House Judiciary Committee. The majority of those, four bills, were submitted by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, with the fifth and sixth filed by Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Al Green, D-Texas, respectively.
While the proposed texts and summaries for these legislative measures are not yet available to the public, the titles seem largely self-explanatory and likely mimic bills previously submitted by the same lawmakers in past sessions.
H.R.30 - To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking.
H.R.121 - To provide for the hiring of 200 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and investigators to enforce gun laws.
H.R.125 - To amend Title 18, United States Code, to provide for a 7-day waiting period before a semiautomatic firearm, a silencer, armor piercing ammunition, or a large capacity ammunition magazine may be transferred.
H.R.127 - To provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.
H.R.130 - To require the safe storage of firearms and ammunition, and to require the investigation of reports of improper storage of firearms or ammunition.
H.R.167 - To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Meanwhile, additional and more sweeping bills are likely inbound.
Congressman David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, has for the past two sessions entered his ambitious bid to reboot and expand the long-expired federal ban on “assault weapons” within the first few weeks of being sworn in.
His latest attempt, which expired in December without leaving committee, had 216 co-sponsors in a chamber where only 218 votes are needed to pass legislation. This was likely due to the fact that it faced certain demise in a then-Republican controlled Senate or on President Trump's desk. Last October, as he was seeking reelection, Cicilline ran on a promise to continue his gun control efforts if sent back to Congress to represent Little Rhody.
The current party breakdown of the House has Dems with a razor-thin 222-211 margin over Republicans. In the Senate, with the outcome of special run-off elections in Georgia decided this week, Dems will hold sway over a split 50-50 chamber. Vice President Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote, and Sen. Chuck Schumer will be the expected Senate Majority Leader.