Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee argued during a Tuesday hearing that a balance can be struck between combating gun violence with new laws and protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights, while Republicans said it would be unwise to enact new laws until the current ones are more vigorously enforced.
The subcommittee hearing on gun violence and the Second Amendment comes roughly two weeks after the committee’s first full hearing on the issue following the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school in December.
“We’ve reached a tipping point. We need to act,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat. “Some say we should just enforce the laws that are on the books. But that’s not enough. There are so many gaps in those laws that we know they’ve created the situation we face today.”
But Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the ranking member of the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, said enforcement of current laws is the problem.
“In my view, the divide on this issue is fairly straightforward,” the Republican said. “The focus of law enforcement should be on…