Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted with 13 other Republican senators to advance the gun control legislation currently before the Senate. The 80-page gun-control measure moved ahead on a vote of 64 to 34, a vote taken an hour after the negotiators of the bill had released its details.
The National Rifle Association has come out against the bill, saying the group will support legislation that improves school security, promotes mental health services, and helps reduce violent crime, but the NRA said the bill falls short.
“However, we will oppose this gun control legislation because it falls short at every level. It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners,” the NRA said.
The legislation can be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund various gun control measures being adopted by state and local entities, the NRA said, leaving too much discretion in the hands of government officials. It also contains undefined and over broad provisions – inviting interference with constitutional freedoms.
“Decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Heller and McDonald cases make clear that the Second Amendment is an individual constitutional freedom. We will always fight for those freedoms – and the fundamental values we have defended for over 150 years,” the NRA said.
The NAACP took the opposite approach, praising the bill as a step in the right direction and asking Congress to pass it swiftly.
“We are encouraged with the outcome of the bipartisan effort. This bill will save lives and we urge Congress to bring it to the President’s desk promptly,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson’s statement.
Alaska Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka issued remarks critical of Murkowski’s vote:
“Time after time, Lisa Murkowski demonstrates why people on both sides of important issues just don’t trust her. When she visits Alaska, she pretends to be a friend of the 2nd Amendment, but when she’s in Washington, D.C., she sides with the elites and the insiders and votes against the interests of law-abiding Alaskans. At least Democrat Pat Chesbro is honest about her support for restricting the rights of our citizens, so you know where she stands,” Tshibaka said.
“The lawful ownership of firearms is part of who we are as Alaskans, both for hunting and for self-defense. Perhaps Murkowski missed the part of the 2nd Amendment where it says, ‘shall not be infringed.’ After 21 years in the Senate for Murkowski, there is no question that it’s time for a change. When I’m the next senator from Alaska, I will always fight for the constitutional rights of our people, and I will always defend the 2nd Amendment,” Tshibaka said.
Among its provisions, the bill incentivizes states to pass red flag laws and requires background and mental health checks for 18- to 21-year-olds.
Tshibaka is challenging Murkowski from the right; both are Republicans, but Murkowski is a centrist who often votes with Democrats.