Schumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out'

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday poured cold water on "red flag" legislation that is gaining traction among some Senate Republicans in the wake of a pair of mass shootings over the weekend, calling the measure an "ineffective cop out."

"The notion that passing a tepid version of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill—alone—is even close to getting the job done in addressing rampant gun violence in the U.S. is wrong and would be an ineffective cop out," Schumer said in a statement.

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He added that Democrats "are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side."

Schumer's comments come as several Republican senators have floated passing legislation to provide incentives for states to pass red flag laws in response to last weekend's mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

Red flag laws, as discussed by Republicans, would let family members petition for court orders to prevent dangerous individuals from being able to buy a gun. It would also let family members petition for court orders to have law enforcement temporarily remove a firearm.

Republican senators, including Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio places hold on number-two Interior nominee over offshore drilling Rubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs MORE (Fla.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanLawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs MORE (Ohio) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE (S.C.), have talked about the idea of passing legislation that would provide grants to states to enact the laws.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE also name-checked the idea during his White House speech on Monday, while Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCongress races to beat deadline on shutdown Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told the Argus Leader that he was "confident Congress will be able to find common ground on the so-called 'red flag' issue."

But Democrats have homed in on trying to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.) into passing a House bill that would implement universal background checks in the wake of the two mass shootings.

"Even the strongest [extreme risk protection order] legislation won’t be fully effective without strong universal background checks. As long as the gun show and online sales loopholes exist, someone prohibited from possessing a gun under an ERPO law could still purchase a firearm far too easily," Schumer said in a statement.

The House passed its background check bill earlier this year with only eight Republicans voting for it. The Senate companion bill has 42 backers, none of whom are Republicans, leaving it well short of the 60 votes needed to pass the chamber and head to Trump's desk. The White House has threatened to veto the bill.

But Schumer added that Democrats would try to force a vote on the House bill if Republicans bring red flag legislation to the Senate floor.

"Democrats in the Senate will seek to require that any ERPO bill that comes to the floor is accompanied by a vote on the House-passed universal background checks legislation," he said.