Democrats call the Senate’s bipartisan gun safety bill a first step to combat gun violence, but the second step isn’t coming anytime soon. The chamber is about to pass Congress’ most significant gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years. Democrats contend that the compromise package brings them closer to broader goals such as expanding background checks and banning assault weapons. It took nearly a decade between the mass school shootings in Newtown, Ct., and Uvalde, Tx., to produce a substantial legislative response that could clear a filibuster. Given that, senators acknowledge that more action on guns may be years away. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said, "It’ll probably be a while before we return to anything in the gun safety space.”
The House is likely to flip to Republican control this fall. The current deal is getting support from fewer than one-third of Senate Republicans. Some Democrats are tired of hearing the party line that they will come back for more later. “This almost fell apart three times over the weekend. We are barely getting this done. And so one of the things I struggle with is, this constant ‘it’s not enough!’ and ‘we’ll get more later’ is just rank bullshit,” said one Democratic senator who requested anonymity. "For the foreseeable future, I think this will be the high-water mark.” Republicans said the forthcoming gun safety package is about as far as their party will go, especially considering that four of the 15 Republicans likely to back the bill will retire this year.