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McConnell: Senate Will Consider a Gun Bill, on One Condition

Majority leader says President Trump must signal he'd sign it into law
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2019 9:03 AM CDT
In this Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addresses an audience gathered in Fancy Farm, Ky.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

(Newser) – In the wake of the most recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and the Texas cities of El Paso and Odessa, Republican Mitch McConnell finds himself once again under pressure to bring some sort of gun legislation to the Senate floor, including measures that have a thumbs-up from both the public and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. On Tuesday, the Senate Majority Leader said he'll reverse his long-time obstruction of such measures—provided, he says, he receives a positive sign from President Trump that he'd sign it into law, per CNN. "If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it, it will become law, I'll put it on the floor," McConnell said in a call-in interview with The Hugh Hewitt Show, adding that the Trump administration is currently reviewing various proposals.

CNN notes Trump hasn't been too clear on what he'd throw his weight behind. Just last month, for example, the president seemed to offer support for more comprehensive background checks, but over the weekend he said he didn't think background checks would've stopped the most recent mass shootings, per Reuters. (The gunman in the Odessa shooting acquired his AR-style rifle in a private sale that didn't require a background check after he failed a 2014 federal background check in a previous attempt to obtain a firearm, per the Dallas Morning News.) On Tuesday, the Washington Post editorial board took McConnell to task for the gridlock. "How many more names will be added to the list before Mitch McConnell acts on guns?" the editors wrote above a list of mass shooting victims dating to 1999. "Would any volume of bloodshed convince the Kentucky Republican that Congress faces a moral imperative to act?" (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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