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US Senator Kelly Ayotte rejects Gun-Control Measures after Orlando shooting

The gun control issue is already a prominent one for voters in November elections after repeated mass shootings

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Republican hopeful Kelly Ayotte, former Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire, of Nashua, at a debate at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. The Republican hopefuls are running for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. Image source: (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
  • A group of senators still hoped to forge a compromise aimed at keeping firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists, but failed
  • The U.S. Senate rejected four measures restricting gun sales after last week’s mass shooting in Orlando
  • Hillary Clinton supported restrictions on gun laws, but republican candidate Donald Trump said he’s open to talks with the NRA about the issue

‘We will be no safer, no smarter’, if gun control measures fail again, said Senator Ayotte.

The U.S. Senate on Monday, June 20, rejected four measures for better gun control after last week’s massacre in an Orlando nightclub, dealing a bitter setback to advocates who have failed to get even modest gun curbs through Congress despite repeated mass shootings.

A group of senators was still hoping to forge a compromise for later in the week aimed at keeping firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists, although that effort faced an uphill battle with critics in both parties skeptical about its chances.

Last week’s massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, had intensified pressure on lawmakers, who moved swiftly to take the issue to the Senate floor. But the gun control measures lost in largely party-line votes that showed the lingering political power in Congress of gun rights defenders and the National Rifle Association.

Gun control
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut calls for gun control legislation in the wake of the mass shooting in an Orlando. Image courtesy: AP

Republicans and their allies in the NRA gun lobby said the Democratic bills were too restrictive and trampled on the constitutional right to bear arms. Democrats attacked the Republicans’ two proposals as too weak and accused them of being in the thrall of the NRA.

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“What am I going to tell the community of Orlando?” asked Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida after the votes. “Sadly, what I’m going to tell them is the NRA won again.”

Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, attacked the Democrats’ amendments and thanked Republicans for rejecting them. “Today, the American people witnessed an embarrassing display in the United States,” he said.

Street protest against Gun Laws in USA. Image source: people.howstuffworks.com
Street protest against Gun Laws in USA. Image source: people.howstuffworks.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the Democratic measures were ineffective and Republican senators “are pursuing real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism.”

As the parties remain largely locked in their positions, polls show Americans are increasingly in favor of more restrictions on guns in a country with more than 310 million weapons, about one for every citizen.

The issue is already a prominent one for voters in November elections. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton supports new gun restrictions, while Republican Donald Trump expressed a willingness to talk to the NRA about the issue.

After the votes, Clinton issued a one-word statement: “Enough.” It was followed by the names and ages of the dead in Orlando.

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Gun control efforts failed after mass shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and a conference center in San Bernardino, California, in 2015. But some senators see resistance to gun restrictions softening as national security looms larger in the debate.

The Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the militant group Islamic State as he killed 49 people in a gay nightclub.

“This country is under attack … it’s not a plane or an explosive device, it’s an assault weapon,” said Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat who led a 15-hour filibuster last week to draw attention to the effort to restrict guns.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas (with inputs from Reuters), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96

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  • AJ Krish

    Guns in the wrong hands lead to death of many. With stricter gun laws, it is possible to prevent such deaths in the future. I hope the new measures are passed soon.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Guns can be misused by anyone if the laws aren’t strict enough. There would be more of such events and nobody would be able to stop it

Next Story

Punjab Takes Tough Stand On Illegally Imported Cigarettes

Punjab Principal Secretary on Monday directed the concerned authorities to initiate action against vendors indulging in the sale of illegally imported cigarettes and pan masala

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cigarettes, illegal, import, punjab, laws
The trade of illegal brands is getting acute in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Amritsar where the retailers prefer to sell these brands which are cheap and the profit margins are enormous. Pixabay

Taking a tough stand, Punjab Principal Secretary (health and family welfare) Anurag Aggarwal on Monday directed the concerned authorities to initiate action against vendors indulging in the sale of illegally imported cigarettes and pan masala with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets.

IANS last week highlighted how the sale of illegally imported cigarettes in the state has become common, posing a serious threat to the health of the smokers, who are getting hooked to catchy packets of international brands sans proper health warnings.

Anti-tobacco activists told IANS that the sale of illegal cigarettes, which is an organised crime, not only evades the state’s high taxes but also plays with the lives of smokers, mainly the first-timers, because of inferior manufacturing processes and low quality tobacco with high levels of tar and nicotine.

Presiding over the state-level coordination committee meeting here to curb the usage of tobacco, Aggarwal said that it is a matter of grave concern that some manufacturers are selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets, which are often sold together by the same vendor.

He said the sale of such products is totally illegal in the state.

Aggarwal said the sale of cigarette packets without 85 per cent pictorial warning against tobacco usage is also a crime.

He directed the Excise Department to take strict action against the offenders.

Trade insiders told IANS that Punjab alone has an annual legal market of 120 million cigarettes and the illegal market accounts for 20 per cent of the total trade.

cigarettes, illegal, import, punjab, laws
Aggarwal said the sale of cigarette packets without 85 per cent pictorial warning against tobacco usage is also a crime. Pixabay

Chandigarh and Panchkula have a market of 30 million and six million cigarettes annually, respectively, and the illegal market also has a share of 15-20 per cent.

Most of the illegal cigarette brands originate from China and Indonesia and the retailers are getting attracted to them as they are available at a significantly lower price as compared to the legal brands. They are sold in the market at one fifth the price of the legal products.

“The trade of illegal brands is getting acute in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and Amritsar where the retailers prefer to sell these brands which are cheap and the profit margins are enormous,” said an insider.

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Take the case of an illegally imported brand. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs Rs 20-30 to the retailer, who sells it for Rs 100. An Indian brand, on the other hand, costs between Rs 250 and Rs 300 with a profit margin of approximately Rs 5 per pack.

The insider said there is huge price difference between Indian brands and the illegal ones due to tax evasion. (IANS)