September 25, 2022
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South Texas Political Expert gives insight on gun reform bills

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Last week, families of the victims of the Uvalde and Buffalo massacres testified before Congress. The house passed gun reform legislation, but the battle isn’t over.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In the wake of recent mass shootings across the country, the topic of gun reform is once again at the forefront.

“Polling has consistently over decades now shown that the vast majority of Americans want some form of gun control, but it never happens,” said Political Science Professor at Texas A&M Kingsville Travis Braidwood.

Last week, families of the victims of the Uvalde and Buffalo massacres testified before Congress. The House of Representatives then passed the ‘Protecting our Kids’ act. It’s a piece of legislation that would tighten gun laws.

There’s a lot to this legislation; like raising the minimum age to 21 and banning large capacity magazines.

“This is probably the most significant approach towards gun control regulation in a long time,” said Braidwood.

Braidwood says it’s not surprising that the House passed this legislation, but where things get tricky is in the Senate.

RELATED: John Cornyn says bipartisan gun legislation won’t include weapons bans or expanding background checks

“The House version is so radically different from the Senate’s version that the House is going to have to take whatever the Senate puts out,” said Braidwood.

The Senate’s version is still in the very early stages.

“This is the first time we actually have, it seems to be enough votes to prevent a filibuster. You need at least 60 to get that vote,” said Braidwood.

Although the Senate may be trickier for legislation to pass through, Braidwood believes some sort of change will come out of it all.

“I wouldn’t expect a lot. You might get the red flag laws you might get some sort of regulation on age restriction for people that have things like juvenile records,” said Braidwood. “Going to see maybe a handful of changes that have popular support amongst both parties and including amongst gun owners.”

There is a July 4 Recess for Congress from June 27 to July 8. Braidwood predicts this legislation could pass before then. President Biden has said if legislation with bipartisan support passes, he will sign anything put on his desk.

Elections are also something else to keep in mind.

“We’re getting closer and closer to election time. We are going to start seeing some of these gun rights organizations start pushing hard and running ads against these Senators, particularly Republican ones that are saying they want to support this legislation,” said Braidwood.

Braidwood says that could impact Republican candidates.

“So might they back down when faced with the possible electoral threats.”

With this topic of gun control is at the forefront, 3NEWS asked Professor Braidwood if this could be at the forefront during elections. 

“Definitely there’s gonna be a partisan split on how they’re approaching the issue and what they want to be a priority, but for Texas in particular, it doesn’t seem likely you’re going to get a lot of people motivated to turn out just for gun control regulation,” said Braidwood.

Braidwood adds that Democrats are hoping the topic takes more center stage and if legislation makes it through the Senate, it will raise more attention. He adds that Republicans are focusing on economy, inflation, supply chain issues, and crime– moving away from gun control regulations.

Overall, Braidwood said it just does not seem likely that gun control is going to dominate the political landscape like inflation or gas prices will.

“It doesn’t really seem like it’s going to be the motivating factor,” said Braidwood.

RELATED: Bipartisan deal would add gun restrictions for more domestic abusers

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