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Post: : Biden renews push for greater restrictions on guns after Texas school shooting, but analysts say Senate still looks unlikely to deliver

President Joe Biden on Tuesday night repeated his call for new gun laws, as he delivered a speech at the White House in the wake of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Gun-control bills continue to face a tough road in the 50-50 Senate, however.

“We’ve seen time and time again that tragedy does not bring unity, rather further partisan entrenchment,” said Ben Koltun, director of research at Beacon Policy Advisors, in an email to MarketWatch on Wednesday.

“What would need to happen is real compromise from both Democrats and Republicans. It would require leadership on both sides to empower bipartisan efforts. But Schumer is teeing up House-passed legislation that has no chance of getting 60 votes,” Koltun added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat.

“Republicans aren’t posturing towards any sort of compromise. I don’t see anything happening.”

A big hurdle in the 50-50 Senate is its filibuster rule, in which 60 votes are required to end debate on most items, so the minority party is able to stymie the majority’s efforts. 

One key Democratic senator, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, told reporters late Tuesday, “it makes no sense at all why we can’t do common sense things” that would “prevent some of this from happening,” but he reiterated that he doesn’t support eliminating the filibuster.

In 2013, a bipartisan background-check bill — crafted by Manchin and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — failed to advance due to a 54-46 Senate vote. The drive for that measure came after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Related: Texas elementary school shooting spurs Sen. Chris Murphy to ask lawmakers ‘What are we doing? Why are we here?’

Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, was also downbeat on the prospects for additional federal restrictions on firearms, saying there “won’t be any new laws.”

“Modest background checks — supported by nearly 90% of Americans, and virtually everyone in the law enforcement community — might make a difference, but there simply aren’t enough votes in the Senate to act,” Valliere said in a note on Wednesday. But he added that gun control now could end up becoming a significant issue in November’s midterm elections.

“Perhaps it will fuel high turnout, just as striking down Roe v. Wade also may motivate the Democrats’ base,” he said.

See: Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade could boost Democratic turnout for midterm elections

In his speech on Tuesday night, Biden said it’s “time to act.”

“For those who obstruct or delay or block the commonsense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget,” the president said.

Read more: Biden says ‘we have to act’ on gun control after Texas school shooting

Biden also called for new gun laws a week ago, as he spoke in Buffalo, N.Y., in the wake of a mass shooting there.

“We can keep assault weapons off our streets. We’ve done it before,” the president said in Buffalo last week, referring to a 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, which he helped negotiate — and expired in 2004.

Speaking with reporters at Buffalo’s airport a week ago, Biden said he has to convince Congress to go back to what he passed years ago, adding that it’s going to be “very difficult,” but he’s not going to give up.

Biden has often advocated for gun-control measures since his inauguration, and his actions have included a new rule aimed at ghost guns, which are firearms that can be made at home from kits and are increasingly used in crimes.

Beacon’s Koltun on Wednesday stressed that an upcoming weeklong break for the Senate could hamper any push for new restrictions on guns.

“Congress is about to head into Memorial Day recess. Nothing quick will happen. More time means more lobbying and further time away from the tragedy gives more space to return to partisan talking points on guns,” he said.

Ahead of the holiday break, Biden’s new nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Steve Dettelbach, was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The White House last year withdrew a pro-gun-control ATF nominee after Senate opposition.

“I can think of no better way to support law enforcement, to reject hate and extremism and to keep America safe from violent crime than for the committee and the entire Senate to confirm Steve Dettelbach as ATF director,” said Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio during Wednesday’s committee hearing.

Shares in gun companies jumped Wednesday, as the broad market advanced.

Sturm Ruger & Co.’s stock 

rose 4% but has fallen 12% over the past 12 months, and Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. 

soared 8%  but has lost 23% in 12 months, while the S&P 500 tacked on 0.7% and has shed 5% in 12 months.

Now read: Gun-control groups respond to Uvalde, Texas shooting: ‘Schools should be sanctuaries of safety for our children, not where they go to die’

This is an updated version of a report that was first published on May 17, 2022.

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