White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday it would be "shameful" for Republicans to filibuster a Senate gun-control bill, invoking the victims of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.
"It would be shameful to not allow any one of these measures to come up to a vote," Carney said aboard Air Force One.
President Obama is in Denver on Wednesday to advocate for a Senate gun-control package that would expand background checks to cover the private sale of firearms. In early excerpts of the speech, the president argues there is "no conflict" between the measure and protecting citizens' Second Amendment rights.
The Senate vote had been planned for next week, once Congress returned from their Easter recess. But it appears the vote will be delayed further as Democrats attempt to win over Republican lawmakers in an effort to defeat a filibuster attempt.
Some Republican senators, including Marco RubioMarco RubioSunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark Treasury won’t grant Exxon drilling waiver for Russia Report: Trump privately met with former Colombian presidents in Florida MORE (Fla.) and Rand PaulRand PaulWe can put America first by preventing public health disasters Conservative activists want action from Trump McConnell: 'Big challenge' to pass ObamaCare repeal in Senate MORE (Ky.), have said they plan to filibuster any new gun control attempts.
Democratic aides have suggested that they could strike provisions that would include record keeping on gun owners in order to win support from conservative senators. The National Rifle Association has also lobbied against language in the bill covering straw purchases, which would penalize those who purchased a gun for someone who was legally barred from owning a firearm or planned to use the weapon in the commission of a crime.
"If you have individuals who are routinely buying weapons as straw purchasers on behalf of criminals who cannot buy weapons themselves because of their criminal record, that’s a violation of the law, and we ought to take action to ensure that the law is enforced," Carney said.
"That seems like a very common-sense, conservative principle to me, as does the idea that the background check system that already exists should be improved so that loopholes are closed that make sure that it does what it was intended to do, and that is ensure that those with criminal records and others who, by law, should not be allowed to, or are not allowed to purchase weapons cannot circumvent the law because of the loopholes in the system."
The press secretary also defended the use of the Denver Police Academy as the site for Wednesday's speech. Some former law enforcement officials had complained about the use of the site for a political address.
"I think most law enforcement officials agree that closing loopholes in our background check system assists them in their job to protect the American people from gun violence," Carney said.