Polls show that Republican voters prioritize gun rights over gun control but aren’t universally opposed to restrictions on firearms. In fact, most Republicans support expanding background checks. Most back “red flag” provisions allowing the police to take guns away from people deemed dangerous by a judge. A majority support requiring a license to purchase a gun.
So with Democrats calling on the GOP-controlled Senate to take action on gun control in the wake of last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio — in particular, to pass a bill adopted in February by the Democratic-controlled House that would essentially create universal background checks — will anything happen?
It isn’t impossible. President Trump suggested in a speech on Monday that he would push for “red flag” laws. But Trump has indicated support for gun control measures after previous mass shootings, and then either backtracked or done little as the measures failed to move through Congress. And indeed, Republicans in Congress have blocked every recent attempt to pass major new gun control laws.
Don’t be surprised if that happens again. It’s not that Republican voters are adamantly opposed to gun control, as the data above shows. But the Republican Party as an institution is hostile to gun control measures….