Reid slams GOP 'puppets of the NRA'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's Campaign Report: Gloves off in South Carolina Democratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Harry Reid calls for end to all caucuses MORE (D-Nev.) slammed Republicans on Monday over the lack of movement on expanding gun purchase background checks, saying that he's talking to his colleagues about what can be done. 

"I've started to reach out to senators in talking about what can be done to advance the cause of background checks while Republicans are in charge for the next year or so," the Democratic leader said. "One thing is clear, to pass background checks, we need Republicans to stop acting as puppets of the [National Rifle Association]."
 
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The Nevada Democrat's remarks come after a shooter at a community college in Oregon late last week killed nine people. 
 
Reid, who read the names of the victims on the Senate floor, added that while "our hearts are broken for the families and loved ones, the victims and for the whole community ... a broken heart really isn't enough, is it?" 
 
Democrats, including presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDNC warns campaigns about cybersecurity after attempted scam Biden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE, have called for new gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting, though any proposal would face an uphill fight in a Republican-controlled Congress. 
 
A proposal to expand background checks in 2013 failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle. A handful of the 54 "yes" votes were from Democratic senators who have since been replaced by Republicans. 
 
But Reid blasted his Republican colleagues, saying that by not taking action "lawmakers all around this country pander to the extreme right-wing lobby that leaves Americans vulnerable to these attacks." 
 
"The realities of gun violence is not only shocking, it's pathetic," he said. "Let's not mince words about who would stop us from passing background checks: Republicans that wage a right-wing ideological crusade fashioned by the NRA and the Gun Owners of America. These two organizations are in a scramble to see who can raise the most money." 
 
Reid's comments on Monday aren't the first time this year he's called for new gun control legislation. In June, the Nevada Democrat called on Congress to pass a new background check bill after a shooting in Charleston, S.C.