The Senate also was scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill to strengthen the penalty for straw purchases, in which a person buys a gun in order to sell or give it to a person prohibited from having one.
The FBI received at least two credible tips that the suspect in the Florida school shooting had a "desire to kill" and access to guns and could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate, he said Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. "What you saw today was a 407 to 10 vote to specifically start addressing the problem to stop school violence", he continued. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. "We must do more to protect our children from being gunned down at school".
Since the Florida shooting, the Republican-led Congress and the Trump administration have considered measures to curb gun violence while trying to avoid crossing the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group, or threatening the right to bear arms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.
Seventeen people were killed on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. when a gunman opened fire at the school.
The House late a year ago passed legislation that would bolster the background check system by compelling federal agencies to accurately and quickly report information about people banned from buying weapons.
But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said earlier Wednesday that Rutherford's bill "will not be the only bill" passed to address school violence. According to an October Gallup Poll, 96 percent of Americans favor mandatory background checks; 75 percent favor enacting a 30-day waiting period for all gun sales; and 75 percent favor requiring all privately owned guns to be registered with the police.
Still, Republicans and one Democrat on the Senate committee said the bill made them uneasy. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote background check legislation that won over enough lawmakers to, despite Republican opposition, overcome a filibuster. Chris Murphy of CT that would encourage states and federal agencies to enter more data into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as "Fix NICS". Chris Murphy, D-Conn., filed the Fix NICS bill following the Sutherland Springs church shooting last November. "The best way to get that done is still under discussion".
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told the students that young people again are leading the nation, as they did during the civil-rights and anti-war movements. "When we first introduced this bill, I had no idea it would hit so close to home for me and my community". "When someone is determined that they're going to commit an act of violence, it could be in a school, it could be in a mall, it could be in a movie theater, it could be in an airport, it could be at a stadium". "And we need to focus on stopping those tragedies before they happen".