Peter King eyes gun control measure

PETER KING EYES GUN CONTROL MEASURE…. In general, even after devastating gun violence, the political push to revisit gun-control laws tends to be non-existent. Forget all that stuff you’ve heard about entitlements being the “third rail” in American politics; gun control has replaced them.

That said, this week there’s been at least a little more interest in the issue than we’ve seen in quite a while. When a madman uses a Glock with an extended magazine to try to assassinate a sitting member of Congress, it tends to get policymakers’ attention.

I didn’t, however, expect to see this idea floated, especially by a Republican.

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s intentions.

King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s most outspoken gun-control advocates, is backing King’s measure and will put the weight of his pro-gun-control organization behind it. He was scheduled to speak to the press Tuesday morning on the proposed law, which is being introduced in response to the Saturday shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a federal judge, among many others.

With Bloomberg’s backing, I suppose King’s measure will at least get more media attention than it otherwise might, but I have a hard time imagining the House Republican majority even letting an idea like this get out of committee.

It’ll be interesting, though, to see how sympathetic Dems respond. Do they express support for a bill they might otherwise like, or is the fear of the NRA still paramount?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.