YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Before the Senate voted to stop legislation on gun reform by a 44-56 vote on Monday evening, there were already predictions that the effort would end in failure.
“Nothing will be accomplished, you know, it’s just a lot of noise about nothing,” said Rick Kaleda from the Buckeye Firearms Association.
Republicans blocked Democratic lawmakers in their attempt to expand the use of federal background checks to include weapons purchased online. Kaleda says there are already rules in place covering such purchases.
“It’s not like you could go online and you could purchase these firearms background check-free. When you purchase these firearms online, you have them shipped to a licensed dealer and you still have to go through the same background checks.”
On the other hand, Democrats blocked Republican proposals that would have required a court order showing probable cause to block the sale of a gun.
The special court system would allow judges to determine whether or not certain individuals, especially those on watch lists or under investigation, can be stopped from making purchases.
“To use these lists as a means of taking away someone’s rights, you know, would be unjust because they’ve been charged with no crime, they are simply that they are just being watched,” Kaleda said. “If there were some kind of court in place, something where evidence had to be presented that someone was, in fact, truly a threat, there wouldn’t be any problem at all.”
“It’s common sense that if the FBI decides someone is too dangerous to get on an airplane, they are too dangerous to buy an assault rifle,” said Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in a statement after Monday’s voting.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey said he and others will continue to push for the ban on military-style weapons and limits on magazine and clip size.
The National Rifle Association, the leader in the lobbying against these proposed regulations, released a statement saying the government is focusing on the wrong part of the issue:
Laws didn’t stop them in Boston, laws didn’t stop them in San Bernardino, where you had every type of gun control you could have, and they didn’t stop them in Paris where people can’t even own guns.
Kaleda agrees that background checks can only do so much.
“By definition, a criminal is going to commit a crime whether it’s against the law or not.”
With Democrats continuing to claim that Republican measures won’t go far enough and Republicans arguing that Democrats’ bills will go too far, the debate is no further along than it was before the shooting in Orlando.