WASHINGTON — The House will hold election-year votes next week on a Republican proposal aimed at keeping suspected terrorists from obtaining guns, Speaker Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers Thursday.
Democrats have pressured Republican leaders to allow gun control votes following the June 12 mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Last week, Democrats staged a nearly 26-hour sit-in on the House floor demanding votes on firearms curbs.
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.
He discussed his plans in a conference call with House Republicans, and his remarks were described by an official who was on the call.
Another person said the House measure will resemble GOP legislation rejected last week by the Senate, where most Democrats opposed it.
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.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., facing a tough re-election race this fall, has introduced similar legislation.
Republicans said the Cornyn measure protected Americans' constitutional right to own guns. Democrats said it set an unrealistically short timetable that would make it too hard to thwart firearms sales.
The officials described Ryan's plans on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the call publicly.