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House GOP leaders plan gun vote after sit-in


WASHINGTON --  Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told House Republicans on Thursday to expect a vote next week on legislation that would prevent people suspected of terrorism from buying guns.

The vote would come as part of a package of counterterrorism bills, according to the Associated Press:

Ryan, R-Wis., said the House would consider broad legislation also aimed at preventing extremist groups from radicalizing and recruiting sympathizers. He said there will be votes on a bill aimed at buttressing mental health programs.

The gun proposal the House is expected to consider is similar to a measure the Senate and most Democrats rejected last week by a vote of 53-47 (it needed 60 votes to advance). Here's more from the AP:

That National Rifle Association-backed bill, by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would let authorities block gun sales to suspected extremists, but only if prosecutors could prove in court within three days that the would-be purchaser was involved in terrorism.

The news comes a week after House Democrats wrapped up their 26-hour sit-in on the House floor, a maneuver led by Atlanta Democrat John Lewis to force action on gun control that won the party widespread attention in the press and on social media. Dozens of Democrats yesterday, including Lewis, participated in a national day of action on guns.

The move represents a shift for Ryan, who last week was sharply critical of Democrats' protests. He said that last Thursday that Democrats had their chance to push for gun control amendments during a committee meeting -- an effort that was rejected the day the sit-in began.

Democrats aren't the only ones who could be made unhappy by the news of a vote, since conservatives have emphasized holding the line on firearms. The headline on the conservative news site Breitbart: "Paul Ryan blinks."


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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.