Schumer: Only passing narrow background check bill would be 'abject failure'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Trump's latest win: More Americans are saying, 'I quit!' MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that it would be an "abject failure" if Congress can only pass legislation that bolsters reporting to the background check system in response to the deadly shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

"If all Congress does in response to the Parkland shooting is to pass the Fix NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] bill, it would be an abject failure and a dereliction of our duty," Schumer said, adding that Democrats will push for universal background checks.

He said Democrats hope "Republican leaders will help pass real legislation that makes a difference, rather than [National Rifle Association]-backed bills that make Republicans feel better without meaningfully addressing the issue of gun safety." 


The Fix NICS legislation, spearheaded by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Texas) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin Dems in terrible bind on Kavanaugh nomination Warren on Trump's NATO jabs: He seems 'all too happy' to help Putin MORE (D-Conn.), enforces current law by ensuring that states and agencies provide criminal records to the NICS, while penalizing those that don't. 

Thirty-five senators, including Schumer, are formal co-sponsors of the bill. 

But Democrats, while supportive of the legislation, argue that it cannot be the totality of Congress's response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, in which 17 people were killed. 

“Democrats believe that, at a minimum, the Congressional response to the Parkland shooting should include universal background check legislation that would close the gun show and internet sales loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands," Schumer said. 

He similarly told reporters late last week that universal background checks would be the party's top priority following the Parkland shooting. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE has backed a myriad of ideas in response to the massacre, including arming teachers, eliminating bump stocks and "comprehensive" background checks. 

But legislation requiring a background check for every gun sale would likely face an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled Congress, where gun control bills have stalled for years. 

Even the Murphy-Cornyn bill has drawn opposition from a band of GOP senators. 

A spokesman for Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE GOP senator moves to restart Pentagon report on NATO allies' spending MORE (R-Utah) said they have "due process concerns," while Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) told The Advocate last month that it compared to saying "pretty please with sugar on top" to government employees to get them to do their job.