Reid presses for tougher background checks after Las Vegas shooting spree

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pressed for universal background checks on all gun sales after a shooting rampage over the weekend in his home state left five dead, including two police officers.

“We here in Congress have a duty to put into place legislation that helps prevent deranged, evil individuals from carrying out such savage acts of violence,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Universal backgrounds checks would be a good start. The American people are depending on us to pass legislation.”

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Reid also mentioned recent shootings in Seattle and Santa Barbara, Calif., and said no senator is calling for a ban on possessing firearms, simply “common sense” gun control measures.

“There are people out there that are so evil that try every day to try to do harm,” Reid said. “My deepest sympathies are with the families of those who died.”

Two people opened fire on police officers at a restaurant in the Las Vegas area, killing them both. They then entered a nearby Wal-Mart, killing a shopper there, before eventually taking their own lives.

The Senate tried to pass gun control legislation after the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, where a gunman shot and killed 20 first-graders. But Republicans blocked legislation that would have toughened background checks on firearm purchasers amid opposition from the National Rifle Association.