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Washington - McConnell Wants To Consider Gun Background Checks In Fall

Published on: August 9, 2019 09:30 AM
By: AP
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunches on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunches on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Washington - Shifting the gun violence debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he now wants to consider background checks and other bills, setting up a potentially pivotal moment when lawmakers return in the fall.

The Republican leader won’t be calling senators back to work early, as some are demanding. But he told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday morning and they talked about several ideas. The president, he said, is “anxious to get an outcome and so am I.”

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Stakes are high for all sides, but particularly for Trump and his party. Republicans have long opposed expanding background checks — a bill passed by the Democratic-led House is stalled in the Senate — but they face enormous pressure to do something after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people. McConnell, who is facing protests outside his Louisville home, can shift attention back to Democrats by showing a willingness to engage ahead of the 2020 election.

“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” McConnell said. “What I want to see here is an outcome.”

McConnell said he and Trump discussed various ideas on the call, including background checks and the so-called “red flag” laws that allow authorities to seize firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others.

“Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion,” McConnell told WHAS-AM in Louisville. He noted “there’s a lot of support” publicly for background checks. “Those are two items that for sure will be front and center as we see what we can come together on and pass.”

Trump has been interested in federal background checks before — and tweeted Monday about them — only to drop the issue later, a turnaround similar to his reversal on gun proposals after the 2018 high school shooting at Parkland, Fla.

The powerful National Rifle Association and its allies on Capitol Hill have long wielded influence, but the gun lobby’s grip on Democrats started slipping some time ago, and it’s unclear how much sway the NRA and other gun groups still hold over Republicans in the Trump era.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump assured them in phone calls Thursday he will review the House-passed bill that expands federal background checks for firearm sales.

In a joint statement, they said Trump called them individually after Pelosi sent a letter asking the president to order the Senate back to Washington immediately to consider gun violence measures.

Schumer and Pelosi said they told Trump the best way to address gun violence is for the Senate to take up and pass the House bill. Trump, they said, “understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives.”

The politics of gun control are shifting amid the frequency and toll of mass shootings. Spending to support candidates backing tougher gun control measures — mostly Democrats — surged in the 2018 midterms, even as campaign spending by the NRA declined.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said in rare public statement Thursday that some federal gun-control proposals “would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”

The organization said proposals being discussed in Congress would not have prevented the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that killed 31 people.

McConnell has been under pressure from Democrats, and others, to bring senators back to Washington after the back-to-back weekend shootings.

Earlier, more than 200 mayors, including those in Dayton and El Paso, urged the Senate to return to the Capitol. “Our nation can no longer wait,” they wrote.

McConnell on Thursday rejected the idea of reconvening the Senate, saying calling senators back now would just lead to people “scoring points and nothing would happen.”

Instead, the GOP leader wants to spend the August recess talking with Democratic and Republican senators to see what’s possible. Senators have been talking among themselves, and holding conference calls, to sort out strategy.

“If we do it prematurely it’ll just be another frustrating position for all of us and for the public,” he said.

The politics of gun violence are difficult for Republicans, including McConnell. He could risk losing support as he seeks reelection in Kentucky if he were to back restricting access to firearms and ammunition. Other Republicans, including those in Colorado, Maine and swing states, also would face difficult votes, despite the clamor for gun laws.

GOP senators are also considering changes to the existing federal background check system, modeled on a law signed last year that improved the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, as well as increased penalties for hate crimes.

While many of those proposals have bipartisan support, Democrats are unlikely to agree to them without consideration of the more substantive background checks bill.

“We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side,” Schumer said Wednesday.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who, along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is pushing a bill to expand background checks, said Trump’s support will be the determining factor in whatever gets done.

“At this point in time leadership comes from President Trump,” Manchin said.



More of today's headlines

Springfield, MO - Police in Springfield, Missouri, say they have arrested an armed man who showed up a Walmart store wearing body armor, sending panicked shoppers... Louisville, KY - Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan traveled to Kentucky to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring House-backed gun regulation bills to the U.S. Senate...

 

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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 09, 2019 at 10:12 AM qazxc Says:

Typical Moscow Mitch. If he can't kill legislation just slow walk it until it dies on its own.

2

 Aug 09, 2019 at 10:14 AM Educated Archy Says:

The second ammendment needs to be abolished. We don't need guns and killing and murder. Who needs to hunt? Thats antiquated. We can kill danegrous species in other methods

3

 Aug 09, 2019 at 11:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Educated Archy Says:

The second ammendment needs to be abolished. We don't need guns and killing and murder. Who needs to hunt? Thats antiquated. We can kill danegrous species in other methods

I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Archy.

4

 Aug 09, 2019 at 11:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Turkey Neck needs more time. How many more will be killed by then. Its only 20 years since Columbine. The NRA is fiscally and morally bankrupt.

5

 Aug 09, 2019 at 12:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Educated Archy Says:

The second ammendment needs to be abolished. We don't need guns and killing and murder. Who needs to hunt? Thats antiquated. We can kill danegrous species in other methods

Bears exist, city boy.

6

 Aug 09, 2019 at 01:22 PM Cixelsyd_Wnosanoy Says:

Reply to #2  
Educated Archy Says:

The second ammendment needs to be abolished. We don't need guns and killing and murder. Who needs to hunt? Thats antiquated. We can kill danegrous species in other methods

For 200 years plus the Second Amendment was interpreted by the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, to protect the right of the States to maintain militias, which evolved into the state National Guards we have known for the past 120 years. It was only in 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Supreme Court did a 180 and held it to protect an individual's right to bear arms.

The odds the Supreme Court reversing Heller, in the near term, are remote; the odds of a Constitutional amendment repealing the Second Amendment are zero.

7

 Aug 09, 2019 at 01:31 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Bears exist, city boy.

So do maniacs that will kill even without guns, genius

8

 Aug 09, 2019 at 01:34 PM PCG361 Says:

Reply to #2  
Educated Archy Says:

The second ammendment needs to be abolished. We don't need guns and killing and murder. Who needs to hunt? Thats antiquated. We can kill danegrous species in other methods

Even if it was abolished today, how do you plan on getting well over 300 million guns out of civilian hands? Most cops I know would not go door to door.
And even if they decide to make background checks mandatory on all gun transactions even between individuals its impossible to enforce. People have been lawfully buying and selling individually since forever. So many guns out there with the person owning it today not the person who actually bought it 30yrs ago and filled out the paperwork. If you have one of these guns, what stops you from selling it to a friend. NOTHING. All these measures are feel good to make people feel something is being done. Its all a worthless endeavor.

9

 Aug 09, 2019 at 02:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
StevenWright Says:

So do maniacs that will kill even without guns, genius

If they will kill even without guns, what is the point in taking away guns? You just want bears to maul people while terrorists use cars and bombs instead of guns?

10

 Aug 09, 2019 at 02:51 PM qaxcz=hashomer Says:

Reply to #1  
qazxc Says:

Typical Moscow Mitch. If he can't kill legislation just slow walk it until it dies on its own.

Shut up, hashomer, and stop hiding behind so many screen names, coward!

11

 Aug 09, 2019 at 02:52 PM Everyone here should know Says:

hashomer has taken over this entire thread, he is hiding behind numerous screen names. Do not respond to his TDS nonsense, it only encourages him. He needs help Nebach and is too sick to understand that,

12

 Aug 09, 2019 at 02:58 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #8  
PCG361 Says:

Even if it was abolished today, how do you plan on getting well over 300 million guns out of civilian hands? Most cops I know would not go door to door.
And even if they decide to make background checks mandatory on all gun transactions even between individuals its impossible to enforce. People have been lawfully buying and selling individually since forever. So many guns out there with the person owning it today not the person who actually bought it 30yrs ago and filled out the paperwork. If you have one of these guns, what stops you from selling it to a friend. NOTHING. All these measures are feel good to make people feel something is being done. Its all a worthless endeavor.

Agreed thats the bigger porblem not being addressed. our romance with guns. its a sick relationship. And any enforcement of nay law is so silly.
So i agree with you.

But ideologically its crazy

13

 Aug 09, 2019 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Educated Archy Says:

Agreed thats the bigger porblem not being addressed. our romance with guns. its a sick relationship. And any enforcement of nay law is so silly.
So i agree with you.

But ideologically its crazy

Love is love, until it's a gun?

14

 Aug 09, 2019 at 03:51 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #10  
qaxcz=hashomer Says:

Shut up, hashomer, and stop hiding behind so many screen names, coward!

Chachom, I've been qazxc here on VIN for over a decade. Hashomer and EDucated Arcibald and a few others are single issue new comers.

I take your obsession with my remarks as a compliment.

15

 Aug 09, 2019 at 04:43 PM PCG361 Says:

Reply to #12  
Educated Archy Says:

Agreed thats the bigger porblem not being addressed. our romance with guns. its a sick relationship. And any enforcement of nay law is so silly.
So i agree with you.

But ideologically its crazy

Personally I don't care how many guns you own... 1, 5, 10, 100. As long as you aren't hurting anybody and use them responsibly I could care less what you do with them, or how many you own. That is why the pro gun people are up in arms when it comes to more regulation. Absolutely nothing that you can add to the books which already include thousands of gun regulations will make a difference, and the only one's affected by new laws are those that follow the law and not hurting anybody. So if you are the type of person that uses your 2nd amendment rights responsibly, how does my taking your rights away save anybody? It doesn't. And if you are the type to walk into a Walmart and start shooting, with 300+ million guns out there, you will find a way with or without new laws. I know people have a knee jerk reaction after a tragedy and say we must do something, but short of collecting 300+ million guns which will never happen and won't be turned in voluntarily, there is nothing to do... With or without the second amendment most people will not comply.

16

 Aug 09, 2019 at 05:21 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #15  
PCG361 Says:

Personally I don't care how many guns you own... 1, 5, 10, 100. As long as you aren't hurting anybody and use them responsibly I could care less what you do with them, or how many you own. That is why the pro gun people are up in arms when it comes to more regulation. Absolutely nothing that you can add to the books which already include thousands of gun regulations will make a difference, and the only one's affected by new laws are those that follow the law and not hurting anybody. So if you are the type of person that uses your 2nd amendment rights responsibly, how does my taking your rights away save anybody? It doesn't. And if you are the type to walk into a Walmart and start shooting, with 300+ million guns out there, you will find a way with or without new laws. I know people have a knee jerk reaction after a tragedy and say we must do something, but short of collecting 300+ million guns which will never happen and won't be turned in voluntarily, there is nothing to do... With or without the second amendment most people will not comply.

Well again lets talk ideologically.

Ideologically,

1)If guns were banned for 100 years you wouldn't find a way to get hold of guns and shoot up a walmart. Where would you get those guns? I suppose some black marekt from mexico maybe? But much much harder. But this leads to point #2.
2) if guns were banned for 100 years, we wouldn't have a this crazy romance with guns. the reason people take guns and shoot up a wal mart is because we idloilze guns. If the culture were such that guns are like bombs are some other disgusting thing, then I don't have the thought to use guns to let out my anger. And yes part of this would be no video games or violent movies that glorify guns.

Now Here is where I do agree with you.
Lamsa this was not the culture for the past 100 years. Facts on the ground are, that the culture is a mad love for guns. We are crazy people. Now if you enact a gun ban law will anyone listen and hand in their guns? No . People will do the opposite. They will reject the ban and fight back via stockpiling more guns possibly chas vshaholm taking more lives. Its a crazy cylical thing. But know the culture is trief and terrible.

17

 Aug 09, 2019 at 05:44 PM AH Says:

Reply to #16  
Educated Archy Says:

Well again lets talk ideologically.

Ideologically,

1)If guns were banned for 100 years you wouldn't find a way to get hold of guns and shoot up a walmart. Where would you get those guns? I suppose some black marekt from mexico maybe? But much much harder. But this leads to point #2.
2) if guns were banned for 100 years, we wouldn't have a this crazy romance with guns. the reason people take guns and shoot up a wal mart is because we idloilze guns. If the culture were such that guns are like bombs are some other disgusting thing, then I don't have the thought to use guns to let out my anger. And yes part of this would be no video games or violent movies that glorify guns.

Now Here is where I do agree with you.
Lamsa this was not the culture for the past 100 years. Facts on the ground are, that the culture is a mad love for guns. We are crazy people. Now if you enact a gun ban law will anyone listen and hand in their guns? No . People will do the opposite. They will reject the ban and fight back via stockpiling more guns possibly chas vshaholm taking more lives. Its a crazy cylical thing. But know the culture is trief and terrible.

Yes, and ideologically it would also be good if we could implement an economy based on "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need," or to know in advance who's going to commit a crime and use that information to stop them. But such ideas, put into practice in our pre-Moshiach world, don't result in utopia, but in the (very real) horrors of Communism and the (fictional) ones of _Minority Report_. Your ideology is no better.

18

 Aug 09, 2019 at 05:56 PM PCG361 Says:

Reply to #16  
Educated Archy Says:

Well again lets talk ideologically.

Ideologically,

1)If guns were banned for 100 years you wouldn't find a way to get hold of guns and shoot up a walmart. Where would you get those guns? I suppose some black marekt from mexico maybe? But much much harder. But this leads to point #2.
2) if guns were banned for 100 years, we wouldn't have a this crazy romance with guns. the reason people take guns and shoot up a wal mart is because we idloilze guns. If the culture were such that guns are like bombs are some other disgusting thing, then I don't have the thought to use guns to let out my anger. And yes part of this would be no video games or violent movies that glorify guns.

Now Here is where I do agree with you.
Lamsa this was not the culture for the past 100 years. Facts on the ground are, that the culture is a mad love for guns. We are crazy people. Now if you enact a gun ban law will anyone listen and hand in their guns? No . People will do the opposite. They will reject the ban and fight back via stockpiling more guns possibly chas vshaholm taking more lives. Its a crazy cylical thing. But know the culture is trief and terrible.

Interesting conversation... You and I fundamentally disagree on a couple points. It doesn't bother me that as a culture we like guns. Just because someone loves guns doesn't mean you will do harm, and i therefore don't care. I'm 50 years old, and when i was a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's this didn't happen. Murders happened of course, but the no one could imagine shooting up a place with a bunch of strangers. Society as a whole has changed. My theory as to why these things happen now (with nothing to back it up but my own gut) is that when i was a kid if i got out of line my parents would kick my **s. There were consequences to actions and parents parented. Also, we didn't live in a world where everyone was a winner. In sports there was 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. There was no participation trophy. You either won or you lost and had to deal with that disappointment. Today kids are taught we are all winners and therefore never learn to deal with the disappointments life throws at us all. Without the skill to deal with life's challenges these kids are snapping when they get out in the world and realize that the world isn't going to kiss their a**.

19

 Aug 12, 2019 at 07:26 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Love is love, until it's a gun?

Some people love their guns more than they love their children.

20

 Aug 12, 2019 at 10:57 AM PCG361 Says:

Reply to #19  
qazxc Says:

Some people love their guns more than they love their children.

It is because we love our children so much that we do not leave the responsibility of protecting them to the government. How well did waiting to be rescued work out for the Parkland victims?

21

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