Grassley Says He Wants to Discuss Gun Legislation After MassacreBy
A day after another school shooting massacre, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley indicated he’s willing to discuss new gun measures as Democrats begged him Thursday to take up the issue.
"What are we going to do? How many school shootings do we need in a given year?" Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said, turning to Grassley at a committee meeting. "I’m here to say, Mr. chairman please, let’s take some action, we cannot see this continue on."
Grassley told Feinstein -- a longtime advocate of tougher gun measures -- that he planned even before the shooting to sit down with her and Senator John Cornyn of Texas to "see what sort of an agreement we can reach on legislation."
"It’s just very hard to sit here year after year and do nothing," said Feinstein of California. Seventeen people were killed at a Florida high school Wednesday by a shooter armed with an assault-style weapon.
She urged Grassley, an Iowa Republican, to pass a bipartisan bill to upgrade the existing background check system, as well as her proposal to ban bump stocks used to make weapons fire more rapidly. Both were proposed last year following massacres in Las Vegas and a Texas church but have gone nowhere in Congress.
Both ideas have had support from Republicans and are more limited and targeted than previous efforts to create a universal background check system for gun sales or to ban certain weapons.
The background check bill is sponsored by Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, and Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, who has been a fiery advocate of gun control in the years after the Sandy Hook massacre in his home state of Connecticut.