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- The vast majority of Republican lawmakers are staunchly opposed to any form of gun regulation, and many push to roll back gun control laws.
- In the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, the country has resumed its debate about how to keep guns out of the hands of would-be perpetrators.
- But there are a host of reasons why GOP lawmakers have little incentive to support any form of gun regulation.
Following the slaughter of 17 people by a 19 year old gunman in Parkland, Florida last week, the nation has resumed its debate on gun control.
But Republicans, as ever, remain largely unwilling to consider any serious forms of control.
In its Wednesday morning newsletter, “Playbook,” Politico considered why Republican lawmakers have little incentive to support gun-control measures. They outlined the reasons:
- Many Republican voters read and consume media and promotional materials created and distributed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), which pushes for fewer regulations on guns and promotes anxiety about the government taking citizens’ guns away, and vote according to grades the NRA gives to politicians.
- Most GOP lawmakers fear primary challenges from the right – 36 House members represent districts that vote Republican by huge margins, on average 20 points or more, Politico reported. Moving away from extremely pro-gun positions would thus put their jobs in jeopardy.
- At the same time, very few Republicans in Congress believe they’ll lose votes for failing to support gun regulations.
- Many Republican lawmakers and voters believe new gun regulations wouldn’t necessarily be effective. They argue that the laws already in place aren’t consistently enforced and that new laws – for example, those banning assault weapons – would leave would-be criminals to simply use another type of readily available weapon.
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he would direct the Department of Justice to design a ban on “bump stocks,” an accessory used to transform a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one, which was used by the mass shooter in Las Vegas last year to kill 58 and injure hundreds. The White House also indicated on Tuesday that the president may be open to a ban on assault weapons.