Two days after at least 31 people were fatally shot in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Connecticut lawmakers took to the steps of the Capitol Monday to ask for immediate action on federal gun legislation.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on one of his U.S. Senate colleagues, majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call all members of the chamber back to Washington D.C. so they can vote on three gun bills in a special session.
Those bills include laws that would require background checks before a gun sale is processed, the ability to take guns away from owners who exhibit ‘red flag’ behavior, and a ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines.
“Senator McConnell, lead or get out of the way,” Blumenthal said. “Call us back today.”
One proposal related to background checks has already made it through the U.S. House of Representatives. The house has also passed bills on violence against women and one that would close the so-called ‘Charleston loophole’ for background checks.
“We did this and all three of those bills sit in the Senate chamber ready for a vote -- a novel thing in America -- in a democracy that what we ask of our leaders is that that they vote,” said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.). “So, we prevail upon Mitch McConnell, we prevail upon the President of the United States -- if the prime minister of New Zealand can respond with a mass shooting and say that she will issue executive authority and create a ban on assault weapons, can the least thing that Donald Trump do is insist that Mitch McConnell come back and vote what’s already on their table?”
Larson spoke after Blumenthal and he shouted to supporters of gun control in the crowd “demand a vote.”
Following the rally in Hartford, Sen. Blumenthal’s office announced that Blumenthal and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had come together on a bipartisan agreement related to ‘red flag’ legislation.
The office said the two senators have come up with an Emergency Risk Protection Order statute that empowers courts and law enforcement to take action when gun owners show that they are a threat to themselves or others and that the final legislation will be released shortly.