GOP senator calls for background check legislation after shootings

GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (Pa.) on Sunday called for background check legislation after two deadly mass shootings rocked the U.S.

"While no law will end mass shootings entirely, it's time for Congress to act to help keep our communities safer," Toomey tweeted.

"We should start by passing bipartisan proposals such as my legislation with Senator Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE to expand background checks to all commercial firearm sales."

A gunman killed 20 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.


Less than a day later, at least nine people were killed and more than two dozen were injured in a Dayton, Ohio, shooting. The two shootings are not believed to be linked.

The House passed a universal background check bill earlier this year which would prohibit most person-to-person firearm transfers without such a check, aiming to close potential loopholes.

Eight Republicans joined the overwhelming majority of Democrats to pass the bill, but it remains stalled in the Senate.

Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) first introduced their background check bill, which would expand background checks to include unlicensed gun-show dealers and online sales, in 2013.

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsDemocratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Susan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll MORE (R-Maine) also expressed support for background checks Sunday, though she did not reference any particular bill.

"I have long supported closing loopholes in background checks to prevent the sale of firearms to criminals and individuals with serious mental illness," Collins tweeted.

Toomey on Sunday also joined Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump has 'all the legal authority in the world' to pardon Stone Overnight Defense: Pentagon policy chief resigns at Trump's request | Trump wishes official 'well in his future endeavors' | Armed Services chair warns against Africa drawdown after trip GOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' MORE (R-S.C.) in calling for a "red flag" measure.

"I also agree with Senator Lindsey Graham that we should pass a bipartisan 'red flag' measure that enables families and law enforcement to obtain a court order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals," he tweeted.

Graham tweeted earlier Sunday that it "may not have mattered here, but Red Flag laws have proven to be effective in states that have them."

Republicans have supported that gun control measure, which would allow family members or law enforcement officials to limit a person's access to guns if they are deemed a potential threat.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEverytown plans ad blitz on anniversary of House background check bill Kentucky state official says foreign adversaries 'routinely' scan election systems Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms MORE (R-Ky.) is facing mounting calls from mostly Democratic lawmakers to bring senators back from recess to pass the House's background check bill.