House begins to move on gun control legislation as Judiciary Committee considers Protecting Our Kids Act

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The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday will consider eight pieces of gun control legislation that will be packaged together as the “Protecting Our Kids Act” and will move to the House floor for a vote next week, according to a committee aide. That movement comes as President Biden told reporters Tuesday that he will meet with Congress on guns. 

“I will meet with the Congress on guns, I promise you,” the president told reporters Tuesday. 

The committee will first debate and modify the proposed legislation in a mark-up session before the full House votes. But any measure passed by the Democratic-led House would also need to get through the Senate, requiring 60 votes to advance and pass. The evenly divided Senate is highly unlikely to accept the sweeping changes most Democrats in the House want.

The legislation under consideration by House Democrats would do the following

  • Raise the age for purchasing a semiautomatic centerfire rifle from 18 to 21 years old 
  • Make it illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a large-capacity magazine, with some exceptions
  • Establish requirements regulating the storage of firearms on residential facilities
  • Build on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ regulatory ban on bump stocks, attachments to guns that make rapid-fire easier. Existing bump stocks would have to be registered, and sale and possession by civilians of bump stocks would be banned. 
  • Current federal firearms regulations would apply to so-called “ghost guns.”

On the Senate side, Republican Senator John Cornyn, who represents Texas, and Connecticut’s Democratic Senator Chris Murphy are meeting over ZOOM Tuesday to see if they can find common ground on gun safety reforms. An aide to Cornyn said they’re meeting to “see if we can agree on a basic framework” for moving ahead with any gun legislation. More meetings are planned for later this week, according to a congressional aide. 

Cornyn represents the state where an 18-year-old shooter gunned down 19 children and two teachers, leaving families and the community grieving. Mr. Biden on Sunday said he hasn’t yet negotiated with Republican senators on this yet. 

On CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Murphy, whose home state suffered the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a decade ago, said he knows Republicans won’t support everything he does. But “red flag laws are on the table,” as well as expanding background checks and things like the safe storage of guns. 

“I think we can get something done, but we don’t have a lot of time,” Murphy said

In a meeting with New Zealand’s prime minister Tuesday, the president noted that the United States experiences a high number of mass shootings. 

“Much of it is preventable, and the devastation is amazing,” he said. 

Mr. Biden visited Uvalde, Texas and Robb Elementary School on Sunday, meeting with families who lost loved ones. The pain there was “palpable,” he said. 

Exactly when the president will meet with members of Congress remains unclear. 

“When the time comes, he will get involved,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. 

— CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane contributed to this report 

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