Schumer calls for background check vote after Virginia shooting

Schumer calls for background check vote after Virginia shooting
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader (D-N.Y.) is pushing for the Senate to take up gun background check legislation in the wake of Friday’s deadly mass shooting in Virginia. 

“It’s time, long past time, to bring a bill to improve gun safety to the floor of the Senate. The House has already passed a bill to close loopholes in our background check system. It’s common sense. It’s bipartisan,” Schumer said from the Senate floor on Monday. 

Officials in Virginia Beach over the weekend identified the 12 victims who died in the shooting at the city’s municipal center. Authorities said four other people were injured, including a police officer. 

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The House approved major background check legislation in February that would require all gun sellers to conduct background checks on firearm buyers. Eight Republicans voted for the bill, while two Democrats voted against it. 

But the bill has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is not expected to come up for a vote on the floor. Gun control legislation has faced an uphill battle on Capitol Hill for years, since a 2013 bill failed in the Senate despite bipartisan support and Democrats controlling the chamber. 

Schumer knocked Senate Majority Leader (R-Ky.) on Monday, arguing that the GOP majority has “marched in lockstep” with the gun lobby. 

“It’s time for that to change. Leader McConnell should call a vote on universal background checks now. Nobody pretends it will stop every shooting, but if it could prevent even one more from happening, it deserves our consideration,” Schumer said. 

McConnell spoke about Friday’s shooting from the Senate floor on Monday but gave no indication that the Senate would be taking up legislation in response to the shooting. 

“I know that all of my colleagues join me in prayer and solidarity for the victims of this evil violence, for their families and for all the first responders who stand ready to jump between their neighbors and harm’s way,” McConnell said.

Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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