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) ManchinSchumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures O'Rourke: Many Democrats 'complicit' in gun problem The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution 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 CollinsGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico 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 GrahamHouse Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks America's newest comedy troupe: House GOP GOP group hits Pence over Trump alleged business conflicts 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 McConnellPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes On The Money: House votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November | Judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns | Senate panel approves three spending bills 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.