Schumer vows to address gun violence after Boulder shooting
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed on Tuesday that the chamber would take up measures to combat gun violence in the wake of a shooting at a grocery store in Colorado that left 10 people dead.
“The Senate is going to debate and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” Schumer said during floor speech.
“We have a lot of work to do. I’ve already committed to bringing universal background checks legislation to the floor of the Senate. There is a hearing today in the Senate Judiciary Committee under Chairman [Dick] Durbin’s leadership to examine several commonsense proposals,” he added.
The House passed legislation this month to expand gun background checks, and Schumer has vowed that he would bring it to the floor in the upper chamber. But it faces an uphill climb in the Senate where, unless Democrats nix the filibuster, it would need 60 votes to pass.
Despite bipartisan outrage in the aftermath of deadly shootings, Congress has routinely failed to pass legislation.
The then-GOP-controlled Senate initially opened the door to addressing gun reforms in 2019 after shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
Then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at the time that he and President Trump wanted an “outcome.”
“Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion,” he told a Kentucky radio station.
But the debate ultimately stalled out after talks between senators and Attorney General William Barr hit a wall.
The Democratic-controlled Senate also failed to pass background check legislation in 2013. Four Republicans voted to advance the bill at the time, but four red-state Democrats broke party rank to oppose it.
Schumer signaled on Tuesday that he would take a different course, even as he faces a tough climb to being able to pass a bill.
“This Senate will be different,” he said.