Teachers union calls on Congress to pass gun legislation

Teachers union calls on Congress to pass gun legislation
© Getty Images

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is calling on Congress to enact a series of proposals the group said would reduce gun violence.

AFT President Randi Weingarten promoted a ban on assault weapons, improved background checks and so-called red flag gun legislation in a letter to Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare MORE (D-Wash.), who lead the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.


“Tragically, too many of our nation’s schools and communities are being terrorized by the effects of gun violence,” she wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill. “We must work to pursue and implement commonsense solutions to reduce these acts of violence.”

“We implore you to consider the following proposals,” she added. “They have been informed by members’ firsthand experiences in schools and communities touched by gun massacres.”

The letter was slated to be sent to the lawmakers Monday. 

The AFT also called for mental health support in schools and measures to address white supremacy. 

“This is what we think will work and let’s have some courage to do it,” Weingarten said of the proposals in an interview with The Hill.

She also said that she hoped parties would "come together" to solve these issues and get "something that's real done."

"Instead of having nothing, it is important to actually have some bipartisanship here,” she said.

The issues raised by the AFT have reentered the spotlight following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month that left 31 people dead. 

The shooter in the Texas incident allegedly told police he had been targeting "Mexicans."

Following the shootings, many Democrats renewed calls for universal background checks and banning assault weapons. Several Republicans, meanwhile, endorsed the red flag laws, which would allow authorities to seize weapons from those deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE has also endorsed red flag laws while sending mixed messages about background checks

Tal Axelrod contributed to this report, which was updated at 1:13 p.m.