In June of 2022, constituents in Pennsylvania’s First District saw positive movement toward common sense gun laws.
That’s the day when a handful of Republicans, including Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, crossed the aisle to join Democratic members of Congress in support of H.R. 7910, also known as the Protecting Our Kids Act.
The legislation would provide for an increased age limit on the purchase of certain firearms, prevent gun trafficking, modernize the prohibition on untraceable firearms and encourage the safe storage of firearms, among other things.
On Thursday, NBC News reported that Fitzpatrick now doesn’t want to push for H.R. 7910 and two other bills because he doesn’t approve of the way the bill is moving through the legislature.
As NBC reported:
“A trio of Democrats — Reps. Lucy McBath of Georgia, James Clyburn of South Carolina and Mike Thompson of California — is pushing discharge petitions to try to force votes on a bill to ban so-called assault weapons and two bills to impose tougher background checks for gun sales. The tactic requires signatures from a majority of the House to force floor votes against the wishes of GOP leaders in charge.”
Democrats had hoped Fitzpatrick would help push through a vote on the proposed gun law package given his past support. They were wrong.
“At some point we need to start thinking about getting things done rather than sending messages across the floor of the House,” Fitzpatrick told NBC, adding that he doesn’t appreciate tactics like this.”
What happened to cause the Congressman to abandon any kind of sense of urgency to pass gun control legislation?
It wasn’t a reduction in gun violence.
“US on track to set record in 2023 for mass killings after series of shootings,” reads a May 9 headline from The Guardian.
“150 days, 263 mass shootings reported in U.S. so far for 2023,” CBS News also reported in May.
Poll after poll has demonstrated that the majority of Americans want stricter gun laws.
“Voters favor gun limits over arming citizens to reduce gun violence,” reported Fox News on April 23.
Fitzpatrick’s turnabout points to placing party over people. This does not bode well in a country where gun violence is endemic.