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Top U.S. Senate Republican says waiting for White House gun proposal

12 September 2019

Democratic lawmakers have been urging a vote on a gun control proposal, pointing specifically to the universal background check bill that already passed the House.

Schumer, asked to respond, sounded furious.

The legislation, which will now be considered by the full House, comes more than a month after gun safety surged back to the forefront of US public debate in the wake of back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. They joined nine other Democratic governors in creating a letter to the president and Republican Senate Greater part Leader Mitch McConnell.

"The president has been very thoughtful, he's called me, we've had a number of discussions, he's very interested", Toomey said.

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"What I am not willing to do is support legislation that will do nothing to make us safer and simultaneously infringes on the rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution", said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

The four policies the governors urged the president to work with Congress to pass are: universal background checks, assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans, stricter reporting requirements to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed unsafe by mental health professionals and the Extreme Risk Protection Order that would prevent anyone who poses a risk to themselves or others from purchasing a gun. Mass shootings are defined as those in which four or more people were killed or injured, excluding the perpetrators. It includes a so-called red-flag law aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to take away guns from those deemed risky by a judge; a measure barring people convicted of hate crimes from buying guns; and legislation barring, for civilian use, magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. Committee Democrats say they expect the bills to reach the House floor in the next few weeks.

In a letter Tuesday, the governors said the recent high-profile deaths in the country due to gun violence is "a failure in leadership" and to fix the problem will require a national policy as a "patchwork of state laws" is insufficient.

The central figure in the debate, though, remains Trump.

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The president initially expressed support in early August for "very meaningful background checks" after deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, but stopped short of endorsing the bill passed by the House. On Monday, Trump stressed the need to protect gun owner rights.

Over more than four hours, Democrats rejected Republican amendments and then advanced the bills along party-line votes.

Pat Toomey is making an attempt to revive his bipartisan history verify bill with West Virginia's Joe Manchin.

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Top U.S. Senate Republican says waiting for White House gun proposal