Journalism in the Public Interest

How Is Congress Voting on Gun Control? Help Us #TrackTheVote
Help us track how gun control legislation is shaping up in Congress by contacting your elected official.
by Amanda Zamora and Lena Groeger
ProPublica, Apr. 8, 2013, 9:30 am

Despite months of negotiations in Congress, the fate of gun control legislation remains unclear. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Update, April 18: Senate Majority leader has pulled the gun bill from consideration after seven related amendments — including a compromise deal to expand background checks — failed to garner the 60 votes needed to pass. "We're going to come back to this bill," Reid said, though it is unclear when the bill would be reintroduced and it what form.

Thanks to all of you who helped us track the vote on Senate Bill 649. We received more than 100 reports from people who called their senators or researched their positions, and were able to project the bill's defeat as a result. You can view the final roll-call vote on the compromise amendment here

To get alerts about future projects like Track the Vote, sign up for our Reporting Network and be sure to select "politics and government."

* * * 

The Senate is weighing the first major legislation aimed at curbing gun violence since the Newtown shootings, but despite months of negotiations the fate of that bill remains unclear. So instead of waiting for a vote, we are turning to you for help in finding out where Congress stands. Take a look at the current proposal, then help us fill in the blanks by calling your elected official and asking them how they plan to vote.

There are three steps to this process: 1. Find your Senator 2. How are they voting? 3. Report your findings

Senate Bill 649 is expected to contain three key provisions.

Background Checks - a measure imposing penalties on states that don’t submit background check data to a national database and requiring background checks for every gun sale (currently only required for commercial dealers).

Gun Trafficking - a measure to punish and deter gun purchases by straw buyers.

School Safety - a measure to improve school security through various programs and appropriations.

Get Involved

1. Find your Senators

Show All
Senator Details Contact Info Reviewed? Known Position on Bill

2. How are they voting?

First, see whether your Senator has already issued a public statement on their position.

Use the contact information above to check your Senator’s website for any official statements about their position on the gun control bill. When you check their website, sign up for email updates to track statements issued that way. Make note of the official’s statement and where you found it and submit below.

If not, call your Senator.

Call your Senator’s office at the telephone number provided above. Be prepared to introduce yourself and ask to speak with someone who can tell you about the Senator’s position on the gun control bill (usually someone in constituent services). Be sure to let them know you reside in the official’s state or district, and that you are interested in learning how the official plans to vote specifically on Senate Bill 649 — yes, no, likely yes or likely no. If the staffer says the official isn’t prepared to answer, clarify whether the lawmaker is undecided or is not commenting.

Take notes of your conversation, noting the name and title of the person you speak with. Then let us know what you learn by completing the form below.

3. Report back to us

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.
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