Gun legislation stalls as congressional leaders trade barbs

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer hold news conference to demand that U.S. Senate vote on gun control in Washington

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer hold news conference to demand that U.S. Senate vote on gun control in Washington

Congressional Democrats have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a Senate vote on expanded background check legislation that previously passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

He continued, "Many Senate Republicans are behaving as if they are wholly owned subsidiaries of the gun lobby". But he's waiting on the White House for next steps and only wants to consider legislation Trump would sign into law.

Asked specifically about the bill in question, which would require background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows and over the internet, Trump said there are "a lot of things under discussion", including some things that will never happen and other things that might.

The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said the red-flag law "doesn't work, unless we tighten the loopholes - close the loopholes - on the background check law".

McConnell should quit stalling and "put the (background checks) bill on the floor" for a vote, Schumer said. Democrats are now working in a coordinated way between the House and the Senate to pressure McConnell to allow a vote on gun reform bills already approved by the House.

"To make a law, you have to have a presidential signature", the Senate majority leader said. "Until that happens, all of this is theatrics".

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The White House's legislative director met privately with Republican senators Tuesday to discuss ideas the administration is considering, including so-called red flag legislation to allow officials to take away guns from people believed to be dangers to themselves or others and quicker imposition of the death penalty for the perpetrators of mass shootings.

Opponents of gun reform cite the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which says: "a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed".

David Catron, an American Spectator writer, after comparing the cost of building the barrier with the savings from health care system provided to illegal immigrants, came to agree with Andrew Sullivan who wrote "If We Want to End the Border Crisis, It's Time to Give Trump His Wall". When the amendment was added to the Constitution, that was not the case, as the USA had recently gained independence from the British empire.

Over the past two decades, mass shootings have become a growing problem nationwide.

McConnell met Tuesday with a bipartisan group of US mayors, including some from cities where mass shootings occurred. More than 10,000 people have died due to gun violence in the country this year, while over 20,000 have been injured.

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