North Dakota GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer says 'most' voters would 'probably' toss him from office if he backed major gun control
- Cramer told the NYT that "most" voters would "probably" toss him from office if he backed major gun control.
- While public support for additional gun laws remains high, GOP lawmakers are overwhelmingly unmoved.
After 19 children and two teachers were killed this week at Robb Elementary School in Texas, Democrats have called on their Republican colleagues to help them pass some kind of sensible gun control measure.
While Democratic lawmakers — most prominently Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut — have pleaded with Republicans to pass measures supported by the majority of Americans, such as
When asked this week if he could get behind any bipartisan
"Most would probably throw me out of office," he told the newspaper.
However, the biggest barrier for Democrats remains the Senate, where the party has a majority but lacks the 60-vote threshold to pass new gun restrictions, including what is known as a red flag law, which allows police to temporarily seize guns from individuals who are a threat to themselves or others.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted immediately after the Uvalde shooting showed that 65 percent of respondents either "strongly" or "somewhat" backed additional gun control in the country, while 28 percent opposed such actions.
In the same poll, a staggering 88 percent of respondents supported background checks on gun sales, with 73 percent of respondents "strongly" endorsing the position.
But despite most surveys in recent years consistently showing near-universal support for these measures, Republicans have remained unmoved.
GOP senators, who largely hail from deeply conservative states where gun ownership is popular, have resisted any laws which could be perceived as infringing on the constitutional right to own firearms — even as mass shootings have spiked in recent years.
After Democrats shepherded a national assault weapons ban through Congress in 1994, they lost control of the House for 12 years, with many conservative-leaning voters turning against the party in the ensuing years due to the restrictions.
The ban expired in 2004, and Democrats have repeatedly been unable to restore the law since then.
Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, reiterated to The Times that GOP lawmakers were opposed to new regulations because they didn't want to infringe on the rights of everyday Americans.
"We don't want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens," he told the newspaper.
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