Despite promises, Obama, Dem Congress have been gun-friendly

August 28, 2010

By Bob Cusack -The Hill

Gun-control supporters are expressing frustration with the White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress for not standing up to groups like the National Rifle Association.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), who succeeded now White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the lower chamber, told The Hill, “I can’t even get a hearing [on gun control issues].”

He added, “I’m not blaming the Republicans. I’m blaming [Democratic] leadership and the administration. They’re in charge. … It’s a question of priorities.”

The gun-control community is among several factions on the left that are upset with the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress.

But some Democrats argue that gun-control bills in the House and Senate are well short of the votes necessary to clear Congress.

Quigley noted the 111th Congress has not debated closing the gun-show loophole or reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, which Obama promised to pursue on the presidential campaign trail.

Instead, Democrats have passed gun-rights measures, including the “Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2010” and legislation that would allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains.

Claiming that Obama would be the most anti-gun president in U.S. history, the NRA launched a $15 million ad campaign against the Democratic nominee in 2008.

That year, Obama spoke out in favor of closing the gun-show loophole and requiring mandatory background checks on purchasers at gun shows.

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