Gun control group releases ad asking McConnell for background checks vote

Aaron Schwartz

Gun control advocacy group Giffords on Friday released a pair of advertisements pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) to vote on background checks legislation for gun purchases following last weekend’s back-to-back mass shootings. 

The ads, which come the same day President Trump told reporters that McConnell is “totally on board” with background checks, will begin running over the weekend in the home states of the senators, who are both up for reelection in 2020.

The advertisements are part of a $750,000 campaign that aims to convince the Senate to hold a vote on a background checks bill that has already passed the House, according to a Giffords statement.{mosads}

The 30-second, mostly black-and-white McConnell ad features a little girl asking McConnell to “end your vacation early” after saying Congress’s August recess means he’s “on summer break, just like us kids.”

“Can’t you do something to keep these shootings from happening all the time?” she asks. 

The Gardner ad features a teacher talking about how she has to prepare for a potential mass shooting. 

“Instead of making lesson plans, I’m making active shooter plans,” the teacher says. “How is this happening and how can Cory Gardner sit back and refuse to do anything to stop gun violence in our schools?”

The videos specifically promote H.R. 8, which passed the House earlier this year. On Wednesday, 213 lawmakers sent a letter to McConnell asking him to pass the bill.

McConnell’s reelection campaign directed The Hill to an interview he did Thursday in which he predicted background checks and so-called red flag laws would be “front and center” in upcoming debates on gun laws.

He acknowledged there was “a lot of support” for background checks, but didn’t say whether he supported them. 

He also rejected calls to bring the Senate back to Washington, saying that the lawmakers would use their break to discuss what could be agreed on. 

Gun laws have received renewed attention in the days following two mass shootings that left a total of 31 people dead. Many Democrats have been pushing for background checks since, while some Republicans have promoted “red flag” laws that would allow local law enforcement to seize weapons from someone who is deemed in court to be a possible threat to themselves or others. 

Speaking with reporters on Friday, Trump called for “intelligent background checks.”

“I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some meaningful background checks,” Trump said.

The Cook Political Report has rated Garner’s reelection race a “toss up;” he is considered to be one of the most vulnerable 2020 senators. McConnell’s race is rated “likely Republican.”

Tags Background checks Cory Gardner Donald Trump Giffords Gun control gun violence Mass shootings Mitch McConnell
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