Investor Alert

May 25, 2022, 11:12 a.m. EDT

Biden renews push for greater restrictions on guns after Texas school shooting, but analysts say Senate still looks unlikely to deliver

Watchlist Relevance

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR)
  • X
    Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. (SWBI)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Victor Reklaitis

President Joe Biden on Tuesday night repeated his call for new gun laws, as he delivered a speech at the White House in the wake of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Gun-control bills continue to face a tough road in the 50-50 Senate, however.

“We’ve seen time and time again that tragedy does not bring unity, rather further partisan entrenchment,” said Ben Koltun, director of research at Beacon Policy Advisors, in an email to MarketWatch on Wednesday.

“What would need to happen is real compromise from both Democrats and Republicans. It would require leadership on both sides to empower bipartisan efforts. But Schumer is teeing up House-passed legislation that has no chance of getting 60 votes,” Koltun added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat.

“Republicans aren’t posturing towards any sort of compromise. I don’t see anything happening.”

A big hurdle in the 50-50 Senate is its filibuster rule, in which 60 votes are required to end debate on most items, so the minority party is able to stymie the majority’s efforts. 

One key Democratic senator, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, told reporters late Tuesday, “it makes no sense at all why we can’t do common sense things” that would “prevent some of this from happening,” but he reiterated that he doesn’t support eliminating the filibuster.

In 2013, a bipartisan background-check bill — crafted by Manchin and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — failed to advance due to a 54-46 Senate vote. The drive for that measure came after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Related:  Texas elementary school shooting spurs Sen. Chris Murphy to ask lawmakers ‘What are we doing? Why are we here?’

Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, was also downbeat on the prospects for additional federal restrictions on firearms, saying there “won’t be any new laws.”

“Modest background checks — supported by nearly 90% of Americans, and virtually everyone in the law enforcement community — might make a difference, but there simply aren’t enough votes in the Senate to act,” Valliere said i n a note on Wednesday . But he added that gun control now could end up becoming a significant issue in November’s midterm elections.

“Perhaps it will fuel high turnout, just as striking down Roe v. Wade also may motivate the Democrats’ base,” he said.

See: Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade could boost Democratic turnout for midterm elections

In his speech on Tuesday night, Biden said it’s “time to act.”

“For those who obstruct or delay or block the commonsense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget,” the president said.

Read more: Biden says ‘we have to act’ on gun control after Texas school shooting

Biden also called for new gun laws a week ago, as he spoke in Buffalo, N.Y., in the wake of a mass shooting there.

1 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Economy & Politics

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.