Democrats in the Senate are pushing their GOP colleagues for debate on a wide-ranging set of gun control proposals following a meeting with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida.
“We in Congress have an obligation to pass meaningful gun safety legislation that will save lives and tackle as many of the loopholes and problems with our gun laws as we can,” Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday.
The senior Democrat also said members of his party are watching President Donald Trump closely to determine whether he’ll play a role in convincing congressional Republicans to wade into the gun control debate.
“Until President Trump puts to paper what he really wants, you never really know what he really wants, as we have learned that hard lesson over and over and over again,” Schumer said. “So I’m not yet encouraged. If he comes out with something specific that actually moves things forward — he said, ‘we want universal [background checks].’ We’ll see if we mean the same thing. But if he did, that would be great.”
So far, the Democrat leader isn’t impressed with GOP offerings which would attempt to quell U.S. firearm violence. Earlier on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw support behind legislation that would give state and federal authorities incentives to provide more information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
But Schumer said the legislation would only address “one component of gun safety.”
“We Democrats at a minimum believe we should be passing a universal background check legislation that ensures that guns don’t fall in the wrong hands,” he said.
The lawmaker said his party will release a list of specific gun control proposals in the coming days.