Sen. Schumer says Democrats will push for universal background checks

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WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats in the upper chamber will push for legislation expanding background checks for gun owners.

“Our No. 1 priority is going to be universal background checks, which is supported by about 80 percent of the American people, and closing the gun-show loophole and all the other ways that people get around the background checks,” Schumer said during a press call on Wednesday.

Schumer’s remarks come one week after a gunman killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Police charged Nikolas Cruz, 19, with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Cruz allegedly used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

The shooting has reignited the gun control debate and pressure is mounting on federal and state officials to take action.

President Donald Trump has suggested support for bipartisan legislation that would expand background checks. Trump said Wednesday that he has directed the Justice Department to take action that would effectively ban the sale and manufacture of bump stocks. Bump stocks allow semi-automatic weapons to operate in a capacity similar to automatic weapons.

Schumer said the bipartisan proposal would only begin to address gun violence.

“The Fix NICS bill won’t come close to making a significant dent in the problem, and must be only the beginning of a legislative remedy that at a minimum fully strengthens and funds background checks, closes loopholes, and keeps guns away from those who shouldn’t have them,” he said in a statement.

Schumer said executive action alone may not be sufficient to ban bump stocks.

“The only way to close this loophole permanently is legislation,” he said in a statement. “He [Trump] should call on Congress to pass Senator [Dianne] Feinstein’s bill to ban bump stocks, rather than just draft memos.”

It is unclear if Congress will consider new gun control legislation.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News