More than 200 mayors are calling on the Senate to reconvene early and vote on two gun background check bills.
The 214 mayors sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday in response to last weekend’s horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which, within less than 24 hours, took the lives of at least 32 people — the country’s 250th and 251st mass shootings this year.
“The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them,” wrote the mayors.
In February, the House passed the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, which would implement universal background checks, close loopholes, and extend the amount of time officials would have to conduct a background check.
On Monday, Schumer expressed support for the Senate to return “immediately,” in a joint statement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D). The leaders condemned McConnell for refusing to act.
“The public must weigh in and demand passage of this legislation for the safety of our children,” Schumer and Pelosi said.
Following the passage of the two background check bills in February in the House, the White House released a statement declaring its opposition to both measures. Trump, however, is reportedly open to background checks ― despite opposition from his advisers and the National Rifle Association.
McConnell so far has not indicated any willingness to take up background check legislation. Instead, he has instructed three committee chairs to start engaging in “bipartisan discussions of potential solutions to help protect our communities without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights.”