Schumer: Gun Control Bill Must Include Background Checks

WCBS 880 Newsroom
September 15, 2019 - 4:57 pm
Chuck Schumer gun control

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New York's two Democratic Senators are announcing a “full-court press,” hoping to force a vote in the Senate on stricter gun control measures that include more rigorous background checks.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says there are enough votes to pass a bill for universal background checks in the Senate, but he says it still has to be put on the floor for a vote by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

“We are here to tell leader McConnell we do not want this vital legislation to sit in his legislative graveyard,” Schumer said.

Schumer says he was on the phone with President Trump on Sunday morning. The president, Schumer says, was non-committal.

“We need a strong, unequivocal statement to Mitch McConnell and to the Republican senators—‘vote for HR8, the Universal Background Checks and I will have your back.’ That's what he's got to tell them. He didn't say that,” Schumer said.

Schumer was joined by dozens of gun control activists at his midtown office Sunday, along with his New York colleague, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

“Shame on Mitch McConnell and shame on Congress for standing and doing nothing, and turning a blind eye to real suffering,” Gillibrand said.

Congressional Democratic leaders warned Trump on Sunday that any proposal on gun control must include a House-passed bill to expand background checks for gun purchases — or else risk no legislation at all.

"We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the president must sign it," Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Sunday.

Pelosi and Schumer said they promised Trump that if he endorses the House legislation on background checks and gets McConnell to act on it, they would join the president "for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden."

"The world has changed and McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate ought to get with it," Schumer said.