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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerPelosi fires back after Trump 'meltdown': 'We have to pray for his health' 5 big wins in US-China trade pact Trump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe 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 RubioChina's TikTok turns to former lawmakers to help with content moderation policies Hillicon Valley: Warren turns up heat in battle with Facebook | Instagram unveils new data privacy feature | Advocacy group seeks funding to write about Big Tech TikTok adds former lawmakers to help develop content moderation policies MORE (Fla.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong 10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable GOP braces for impeachment brawl MORE (Ohio) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (S.C.), have talked about the idea of passing legislation that would provide grants to states to enact the laws.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE also name-checked the idea during his White House speech on Monday, while Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneWar of words at the White House Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Impeachment threatens to drown out everything 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 McConnellPatient advocates launch drug pricing ad campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House 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.