After recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, polls indicate there is broad public support for an assault-weapons ban, even though a ban has hardly any Republican support on Capitol Hill.
A Politico-Morning Consult poll conducted immediately after the school shootings in Uvalde found that 67% of registered voters strongly or somewhat support an assault-style weapons ban and 69% of respondents favored banning high-capacity ammunition magazines.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have also expressed strong support for banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
"I know that it makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds," Biden said.
While attending a funeral service for a victim of the supermarket shootings in Buffalo, Harris said: "We are not sitting around waiting to figure out what the solution looks like. We know what works on this. It includes — let's have an assault weapons ban."
They aren't talking about a ban on assault-style rifles, like the weapon used in Texas, or a ban on high-capacity magazines, like the 30-round magazines the shooter took to the school, The Hill observed.
Democrats are instead focused on expanding background checks or encouraging states to establish red flag laws that remove guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.
"It's really a study of incrementalism, I think that's what [Sen.] Chris Murphy is doing," said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University, referring to the lead Democrat negotiator on gun control.
"He's come to the realization that if he leads with an assault-weapons ban, it's not going to go anywhere. To get the 10 Republicans you need to break the filibuster, you can't lead with a strong right hand. You've got to spar a little bit," Baker said to The Hill.
"Republicans are not willing to support everything that I support, like banning assault weapons. But I really think that we could pass something that saves lives and breaks this logjam that we've had for 30 years," Connecticut Democrat Sen. Murphy said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he agrees with the strategy of focusing on proposals that can get bipartisan support and be passed into law, The Hill reported.
Some Democrats from conservative states, including Joe Manchin, W.Va., do not support an assault-weapons ban. During the Senate's gun control debate in 2013, Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Angus King, I-Maine; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; and Mark Warner, D-Va.; voted with Manchin and every Senate Republican against Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who wanted an assault weapons ban, The Hill observed.
But public opinion matters, and right now, it is behind Democrats who want to ban assault weapons.
Thirty-seven members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have co-sponsored Feinstein's proposed assault-weapons ban, according to The Hill.
Two Democrats in tough reelection races, Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., haven't signed on to Feinstein's bill, but two other vulnerable Democrats — Sens. Maggie Hassan, N.H., and Raphael Warnock, Ga. — have done so.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.