House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?'

House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondTwo former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden Election security funds caught in crosshairs of spending debate Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks MORE (D-La.) on Friday evening expressed frustration with Congress’s inability thus far to pass gun control legislation following a number of mass shootings, arguing the public should put pressure on hesitant Republicans.

“I believe that the will of the American people can overpower obstruction in the Senate by the Senate majority leader in terms of bringing bills to the floor to a vote,” Richmond said on CNN. “We have cities that are banning plastic straws, and we can’t ban assault weapons? That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

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“We need the American people to join with us, especially all of these senators, including [Sen.] Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days MORE [R-Ky.], who’s up for reelection, and let him know that this is our will and if you stand in the way of it, we will get it done with you or without you,” he added, referring to the Senate majority leader.

McConnell has historically been reluctant to bring gun control up for a vote, though he said this month after two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that gun background checks and so-called red flag laws would be “front and center” when the upper chamber returns next month from its August recess.

Richmond and other Republicans have lamented the Kentucky Republican’s hesitancy to bring two House-passed gun control bills for a vote and have called for Congress to take further action, including banning assault rifles and capping the size of magazines.

The House Judiciary Committee, on which Richmond sits, announced Friday it will cut its August recess short to host a markup hearing on three gun violence prevention bills that would, among other things, ban the use of high capacity ammunition magazines. The panel will also hold a hearing on military-style assault weapons later in September.