Commentary

Senate fails to curb gun violence; Burr, Tillis once again do the NRA’s bidding

Last night, the U.S. Senate failed for the umpteenth time to pass modest gun safety legislation. Sadly, both of North Carolina’s senators once again bowed to the pressure of the gun lobby.  In response, the good folks at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence issued the following statement:

NC Senators Vote Against Gun Background Checks, Keeping Terrorists from Buying Guns

On Monday, June 20, North Carolina’s two senators cast votes to help kill two amendments to reduce the dangers of gun violence.  Both Richard Burr and Tom Tillis voted against universal background checks for gun purchases and a measure to strictly limit guns sales to known terrorists.

“These were votes to keep the unacceptable status quo of gun laws,” said Becky Ceartas, director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence [NCGV].  “It’s shocking that these harmful votes were cast in the wake of the worst mass shooting of our history in Orlando and, adding to the outrage, they came almost one year to the day since of the killings in the Charleston church.”

“In casting these votes, our senators showed their true colors.  They chose not to put safety of our families first, pushing that aside to demonstrate their loyalty to the gun lobby,” Ceartas said.  She pointed out that the National Rifle Association has given Sen. Tom Tillis $4,418,012 and contributed $805,219 to Sen. Richard Burr.

“Action must be taken.  It’s now up to Speaker Paul Ryan and the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on similar amendments for background checks and bans on terrorists seeking to buy guns.”

The House is scheduled to take a Fourth of July break at the end of this week.  Ceartas called for Rep. Ryan “to do the right thing and have the House vote on these life-saving measures.  The representatives want to go home and see families and work their districts over the Fourth, but now of all times, votes on these life-or-death measures must be a first priority.”

Four proposed gun measures were voted down Monday along party lines for the most part.  Sen. Christopher Murphy offered the proposal on background checks, and Sen. Diane Feinstein sponsored the amendment curtailing gun sales to known terrorists.  The other two amendments were one by Sen. Charles Grassley to allow certain psychiatric patients to buy guns on the day they are released from mental institutions; it also would allow military veterans suffering from mental illnesses to buy guns.  And Sen. Jon Cornyn’s proposal was to allow a suspected terrorist to buy guns unless the U.S. Attorney General could prove in court that the person had committed, or was about to commit, an act of terrorism. In addition, the gun applicant would have had the right to contest the evidence against him in court.  The amendment would have required these things to be done within five business days.

Senators Burr and Tillis voted for the Grassley and Cornyn amendments. “Their votes,” said Ceartas, “were a sad attempt to try and fool the American public into believing they were doing something about gun violence.  They weren’t.  They acted in bad faith and we will not let this stand.”

6 Comments


  1. Jim Wiseman

    June 21, 2016 at 9:02 am

    So Democrats wanted to take away due process and deny a Constitutional right, and Republicans wouldn’t let them. Remind me who the villain is again.

  2. Steve Harrison

    June 21, 2016 at 10:51 am

    It’s not about due process, that was included in *both* bills Burr and Tillis voted against. And Burr just said the other day that he supported the idea of blocking people on the no-fly list from buying firearms legally, as long as there was a way they could get a hearing to challenge their status. Again, that was an integral part of these efforts, but Burr voted against it anyway. He’s flip-flopped so many times I’ve lost count, hoping that certain voters remember certain things, and he can net as many as he needs to continue his do-nothing career.

  3. Laurie

    June 21, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Ah, yes….create hoops, eliminate same day voter registration.
    create hoops, required conseling, waiting periods etc for birth control and abortion services.
    Create Ag-Gag and Food Gag Laws, restrict public access and videoing in public places.

    Those constitutional rights are all fair game for any kind of restriction, but gosh darn demand responsbile behavior regarding guns and the Tune Changes.

  4. Jay Ligon

    June 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Tillis is the Senate’s number one recipient of NRA money. His campaign has collected $4.4 million from the NRA exceeding second-place Joni Ernst by more than $1 million. If the NRA wants him to vote for support terrorists’ gun rights, they can count on him. Richard Burr has taken a little less than $1 million from the NRA, but Tillis was recently in a tight Senate race and needed the money to defeat Kay Hagan.

    The blood of school children, college students, and club and theater audiences may turn our streets red, but Tillis and Burr will find a reason to provide terrorists and insane people the means to kill more Americans. The next time the news media reports another slaughter of innocent Americans, remember our senators and their invaluable contribution to gun violence.

  5. RAP

    June 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    GLADLY the two senators from my state did what WE THE PEOPLE elected them to do – SAVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT! What a snarky article…..

  6. Jan

    June 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    When the controversy around gun violence began, I too was afraid of Obama’s intentions with law abiding citizens and their right to own guns. But since that time, there have been too many mass shootings by people who should not have been able to get guns at all. It is especially scary that our leaders won’t prevent tragedies by Muslim gun men. Burr and Tillis both should be ashamed. I for one would like to see Burr out of office. He has no well being for the people of this country. I say he should be voted out now!

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