U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who lost her son to gun violence, speaks during a press conference for the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force on June 13, 2023 outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who lost her son to gun violence, speaks during a press conference for the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force on June 13, 2023 outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images)

As House GOP Aims to Kill Biden Pistol Brace Rule, Dems Renew Longshot Gun Control Push

Congresswoman Lucy McBath, whose son was killed by gun violence, said she filed a discharge petition for an assault weapons ban "because we have been sent to Congress to use every tool to help save American lives."

As most U.S. House Republicans and two Democrats on Tuesday voted to block the Biden administration's regulation of pistols with stabilizing braces, several other Democratic lawmakers renewed a fight for gun control policies unlikely to pass the GOP-controlled chamber.

Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Mary Peltola (Alaska) joined with all Republicans present except Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Thomas Kean (N.J.) to pass a resolution disapproving of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule, which was finalized in January.

Under the federal bureau's rule, gun owners who install stabilizing braces on their pistols so the firearms can be used one-handed must register the weapons as short-barreled rifles. Alternatively, they can permanently remove and dispose of the accessory, turn in the firearm at an ATF office, or destroy the gun.

The gun accessories have gained national attention after being used by the perpetrators of mass shootings such as a 2021 rampage at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado as well as a massacre at a Nashville, Tennessee school earlier this year.

"Gun violence is the challenge of our lifetime and the issue of our era."

"The regulation has become a sticking point among conservatives, and gun rights groups like the Gun of Owners of America have urged Congress to pass the disapproval resolution," Roll Call noted Tuesday. "The rule would have gone into effect June 1, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit temporarily stayed the rule while a challenge plays out in the courts."

Even if the House GOP's measure also passes the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Joe Biden would veto it, the White House said Monday, stressing that "this administration has no higher priority than keeping the American people safe, which is jeopardized with a vote in support of a resolution that makes it easier for mass shooters to obtain these deadly weapons."

While Republican lawmakers—and a handful of Democrats—battle the pistol brace policy, Democratic Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.), Lucy McBath, (Ga.), and Mike Thompson (Calif.) are hoping to force votes on gun control legislation with discharge petitions, which allow legislators to bypass GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and bring bills to the floor with simple majority support.

The trio filed discharge petitions Tuesday related to an assault weapons ban and background check legislation. However, actually holding votes on those bills would require winning over not only most—if not all—Democrats but also a handful of Republicans.

As The Washington Postdetailed Tuesday:

Of all three bills, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which Thompson first introduced after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, has previously received the most support from across the aisle. The bill, which would require background checks on those looking to transfer or buy a gun, is sponsored by... Fitzpatrick... and received eight Republican votes in 2021.

The proposal from Clyburn would require background checks to be completed 10 days after someone buys a firearm, increasing the current review period by seven days. It would close the "Charleston loophole," a reference to how Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, was able to obtain a firearm in 2015 after the three-day review period expired but before the background check was completed. He went on to murder nine Black worshippers in South Carolina at a church in Charleston.


Taking on the herculean pursuit of enacting an assault weapons ban into law is personal for McBath. Her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was killed after being confronted by Michael Dunn for playing loud music in a parked car at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station in 2012.

Various other Democrats announced that they had signed the discharge petitions on Tuesday. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.)—who was previously the national organizing director for March for Our Lives, formed after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida—said that he was "proud to have been one of the first to sign all three this morning."

Specifically signaling her support for the assault weapons ban, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted: "Gun violence is an epidemic touching every community. Firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in America. This is unacceptable."

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