Government & Politics

How did Missouri, Kansas senators vote on gun legislation?

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, voted for two Republican gun amendments on Monday. One would have delayed gun sales to people on the terror watch list for three days and the other would have boosted funds for background checks.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, voted for two Republican gun amendments on Monday. One would have delayed gun sales to people on the terror watch list for three days and the other would have boosted funds for background checks. AP

Missouri and Kansas senators voted along party lines as all four gun measures up for a votes in the U.S. Senate fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass on Monday.

The failure of the four amendments came after Republicans and Democrats in the Senate failed to reach a compromise to revamp gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fl.

One amendment offered by California’s Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein would have barred anyone on the watch list from buying a firearm but would allow an appeals process if a purchase was denied.

A competing amendment backed by the National Rifle Association and sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, would have created a 72-hour waiting period to allow the Department of Justice to investigate anyone who had been on the watch list in the past five years if they tried to buy a gun. The sale could be halted if the government could show probable cause.

Another amendment offered by a Democrat, Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, had proposed expanding background checks to include online and private gun sales.

A fourth amendment sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, would have boosted funds for background checks and added language to make it harder for people with mental health problems to buy weapons.

Republican Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas, and Roy Blunt of Missouri both supported the Cornyn and Grassley amendments.

“These amendments will keep firearms out of the hands of bad actors while at the same time ensuring we do not infringe upon Second Amendment rights,” he said in a statement.

Blunt said Cornyn’s amendment would keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, and enhance law enforcement’s ability to prevent an attack.

The recent attack in Orlando underscores the danger we face in every community across this country,” he said in a statement. “We all agree that we have to prevent terrorists from purchasing and possessing weapons to carry out attacks on our soil. I urge Democrats to reconsider their opposition and work with us to advance solutions that will protect Americans without compromising their Constitutional rights.”

Moran said he voted for the Republican amendments to keep suspected terrorists from getting guns while also protecting law-abiding citizens’ rights.

“I voted to require notification to the proper authorities should any suspected terrorist attempt to purchase a firearm, as well as give law enforcement the tools they need to detain a terrorist trying to purchase a firearm provided a showing of probable cause,” he said in a statement.

Former prosecutor Claire McCaskill, Missouri’s Democratic senator, voted for both Democratic proposals.

“Most Missourians and most Americans support these small, commonsense steps to help stem the horrific gun violence we see in this country—but their voices are being drowned out by a gun lobby that’s once again worked its magic on Congress,” she said in a statement after the vote.

McCaskill and other Democrats dismissed the Cornyn and Grassley amendments as too lax.

“These measures are completely impractical and will have no real impact on gun violence in this country, which is how you know they were written by the NRA,” McCaskill said.

Lindsay Wise: 202-383-6007, @lindsaywise

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