Senators pitch Trump on expanded gun background check bill

Congressional Democrats vow to prioritize gun legislation

Congressional Democrats vow to prioritize gun legislation

Senators pushing to require background checks for private gun sales made a fresh pitch to President Donald Trump on Wednesday as part of an effort to break the gridlock over legislation to curb gun violence following a summer of more mass shootings.

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon on September 10, 2019, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. McConnell has faced criticism for blocking gun control legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would not bring those background check bills to the floor unless Trump says he would sign them into law. The bill would still need to be voted on by the full House to advance and the GOP controlled Senate has not said what if any gun control legislation it would take up.

On Tuesday, McConnell deferred to the president, telling reporters that he was waiting to see what proposals the White House would put forward before allowing votes on pending legislation.

The House Judiciary Committee voted on Tuesday to approve gun violence prevention legislation as Congress faces pressure to take action in the wake of recent mass shootings. The president is expected to be presented with a list of options of various initiatives as soon as Thursday, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

"There is no one thing we can do, but if we can make it harder for unsafe people to get firearms in the first place, maybe we'll save some lives", he said.

"It's really 'Gun Sense, ' if you think about it", Trump said, suggesting that any bill lawmakers come up with should bear that name.

"We're looking at background checks and we're looking at putting everything together in a unified way so that we can have something that's meaningful", he said. "At the same time, all of us want to protect our great Second Amendment. It's very important to all of us".

He continued, "Many Senate Republicans are behaving as if they are wholly owned subsidiaries of the gun lobby". 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.

Later, the congresswoman said, "I truly believe that the moral crisis is that the guns have become our God", adding, "Guns have become the means by which we solve all of our problems, have become our authority".

Some House Democrats also want to return to an all-out ban on assault-style weapons.