McConnell: ‘Premature’ to discuss gun control legislation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said it’s too soon to discuss new gun control legislation days after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
“The investigation has not even been completed, and I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions if there are any,” he told reporters during a weekly leadership press conference.
At least 59 people were killed, and more than 500 injured, during the mass shooting at an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
McConnell took three questions during a weekly leadership press conference — all of which were on gun control legislation — before stressing that Republicans are currently focused on tax reform and ending the press conference.
He also sidestepped a question about why Democrats frequently lose gun control debates in Congress.
“I think it’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this,” the Senate’s top Republican told reporters. “We’re in the middle of an investigation, let’s see what that reveals … in the meantime, our priority is on tax reform.”
Democrats are using the shooting to renew their push for more expansive background checks or tougher gun control laws.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on Monday that he would introduce a background checks bill “shortly.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that she was looking at a potential legislative path for trying to close the “automatic weapons loophole.”
“A ban on bump fire stocks was included in my 2013 assault weapons bill, and I’m looking at how best to proceed with legislation to finally close this loophole. This is the least we should do in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history,” Feinstein said in a statement.