As Congress returns this week, the debate over the best legislative approach to mass shootings continues with the controversial ideas laid out both by President Donald Trump and lawmakers.
The Hill reported that Republican Senator Pat Toomey is planning to resuscitate legislation with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin that would expand background checks to commercial sales. Toomey told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he is “skeptical” of proposals to increase the minimum age requirement to purchase certain guns like the AR-15.
“I’m very skeptical about that because the vast majority of 18-, 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds are law-abiding citizens who aren’t a threat to anyone,” Toomey told host Chuck Todd.
Meanwhile, President Trump has called for more “comprehensive” background checks adding that the sale of bump stocks should end and the age to purchase weapons like the AR-15 should go up to 21.
Both the NRA and GOP lawmakers are condemning the idea to up the Purchasing age requirement. Republican Representative Thomas Massie on Sunday supported Trump’s proposal to arm teachers, but condemned the additional age restrictions and background checks.
“Those are false senses of security,” he told “Meet the Press,” referring to the background checks.
“And in 10 years we’re still going to have school shootings unless you propose real legislation, like President Trump has proposed, that would allow teachers to be armed.”
However, the Democrats have dismissed Trump’s suggestion to arm teachers.
Democratic Representative Ted Deutch, who represents Parkland, said that the proposal is “a distraction,” instead pushing for improvements to the country’s mental health services.
“The shift to arming teachers is a distraction. It’s a distraction from the important discussion about all the things that can be done this week when we go back to Washington,” Deutch told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The Florida lawmaker promised that a legislation banning assault weapons will be passed.
“We’re going to introduce legislation to make sure that assault weapons are illegal in every part of this country,” he said during CNN’s town hall event.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg told ABC’s “This Week” that it’s “disgusting” for the NRA to oppose the various proposed gun reform measures.
“They act like they don’t own these politicians. They still do. It’s a Republican-controlled House, Senate and executive branch,” Hogg said.
“They can get this stuff done. They’ve gotten gun legislation passed before in their favor, in the favor of gun manufacturers.”
According to The Hill, despite the disagreements between advocates and lawmakers, parties on both sides of the aisle appear to agree on the need for some form of action.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy who for a long time is pushing for increased gun control measures, said he is “absolutely” willing to work with Trump on gun reform.
“And I’m looking forward to going over to the White House. I’m glad for the invitation,” Murphy told CNN’s “State of the Union.”