A few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he was “ready to move forward” on gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
In a statement following the announcement, the Kentucky Republican also promised to get a vote on a plan to expand background checks, an issue that has been a hot-button issue in the state for years.
But that plan, which could have a dramatic impact on Kentucky’s economy, has been blocked by Democrats.
The Kentucky Republican’s statement was the first time he had publicly said he would vote against a gun-control bill since taking office in January.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the Kentucky Democratic leader’s statements on Tuesday “a significant misstep.”
“If this is the leader of the Republican Party, then he should be ashamed of himself,” Schumer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He continued: “He should not be saying this at the same time as saying he is ready to move ahead with an assault weapons ban.
And that’s why I’ve asked for his resignation.”
A new report says McConnell’s statement “wasn’t entirely accurate,” but Democrats and gun rights advocates say the GOP leader should have said he was ready to vote for a ban, not “ready” to vote against it.
Democrats and gun-rights advocates say McConnell’s “statement wasn’t exactly accurate,” as well.
McConnell said on Monday that he and Democrats would work on a “comprehensive” gun bill, which was later changed to “complementary measures” to address the issue of mass shootings.
But the bill has yet to be passed, with Democrats only holding 52 votes in the Senate.
Democrats also want to address mental health issues and make mental health a priority in the next president’s second term.
Some Democratic lawmakers are also concerned about how McConnell plans to address gun control in the wake of the shooting at a historic church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the two Democratic leaders of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, have introduced legislation that would ban assault weapons that are more than 10 years old, and the Democratic Party’s platform would call for a “universal background check system.”