Politics

5 Things Congress could do on guns

The issue of gun control always comes up in Congress after a mass shooting in the US — but there haven’t been any major gun reform laws in more than two decades.

Here are five things Congress could do:

1

Outlaw bump stocks

Has bipartisan support

Even President Trump has said he wants bump stocks, devices that can be attached to a semi-automatic weapon to make it easier to fire rounds more quickly, banned.

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2

Improve the background check system

Has bipartisan support

A proposed bill would hold federal and state agencies accountable if they fail to upload records to the system. It wouldn’t strengthen background checks, but it would help keep the system updated.

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3

Raise the gun age

Has bipartisan support

Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake said they would support lifting the legal age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21, a proposal that might have enough votes in the Senate to pass.

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4

Restrict gun magazine size

Unlikely to have bipartisan support

There is no indication that there are large numbers of Republicans that would back restricting high-capacity magazines, but gun control advocates will again push for this to be part of the debate.

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5

Ban AR-15 style weapons

Very unlikely to have bipartisan support

The US had a ban on AR-15 style guns until 2004. It’s unlikely that Congress will bring up the issue again anytime soon, and a ban may also be doomed in many state legislatures.

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