Lawmakers push for Senate vote on bill expanding background checks

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ It’s been one year after the House passed a bill expanding background checks nationwide and the proposed legislation remains untouched in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Now, Democratic lawmakers are calling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote.

The bill, called the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019,” would make it illegal for any person who is not a licensed firearm importer, manufacturer or dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed, without a background check.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said he’s tired of waiting.

“We’re mounting a major push for background checks going to the floor next week,” Blumenthal said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said McConnell and President Donald Trump’s inaction puts Americans in danger.

“Enough words president Trump how about a little action, we don’t believe your words,” Schumer said.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, said Republicans must break from the National Rifle Association and listen to the American people.

“If Republicans aren’t interested in saving other people’s lives, then maybe they should be interested in saving their own political lives because we are building a movement and it is coming to get every single Republican who votes against universal background checks,” Murphy said.

Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, said he remains committed to expanding background checks. Pennsylvania Senator Patrick Toomey and has a bipartisan bill to expand requirements to include sales online and at gun shows.

“We think those transactions ought to be subject to a background check so we can hope and try to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have guns,” Toomey said.

But Toomey said he’s not optimistic his bill will even be brought up for a Senate vote.

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