Democratic governors call on Trump, McConnell to support gun control measures

Democratic governors call on Trump, McConnell to support gun control measures
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A group of 12 Democratic governors on Tuesday wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-Ky.) calling on them to pass an array of “sensible” gun control measures.

The letter comes in the aftermath of a series of fatal shootings in Gilroy, Calif.; El Paso and Odessa, both in Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pa. The shootings in total killed 34 people. The governors said the onus is on the federal government to create a “coherent” policy to curtail gun violence. 

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“Public safety is the first and most important responsibility of government, and the failure to act to protect the public is a failure in leadership. As Governors, it is our responsibility to listen to our communities’ calls for action. However, a patchwork of state laws will never be a substitute for coherent national policy,” the governors wrote. 

“Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue. Gun deaths do not have to be the norm. The time is now to break the cycle by enacting four common-sense measures.” 

The governors called on Trump and McConnell to support red flag laws, which would permit local authorities to remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others, universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and stricter reporting requirements to try to prevent those judged to have mental health issues from buying guns.

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Gun control has increasingly become a chief rallying cry for Democrats in light of the spate of shootings, with many pointing to Trump and McConnell as the top roadblocks to any gun control legislation.

McConnell has said he would bring legislation to the floor if the president would first affirm his support, though Trump has given mixed signals about which specific measures he’d be willing to back.