Keeping Focus on Gun Bills, Democrats Urge McConnell and Senate to Act

Keeping Focus on Gun Bills, Democrats Urge McConnell and Senate to Act

Gun Rights

T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times WASHINGTON — House Democrats, seeking to pressure the Senate Republican leadership to take up gun safety legislation, broke away from their August recess on Tuesday to appear in the Capitol with victims of gun violence, who pleaded with Congress to act swiftly to prevent further bloodshed. Six top Democrats called on Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, to bring senators back to Washington to pass two House bills: one mandating background checks on all gun purchases, including at gun shows and on the internet, and another extending the time the F.B.I. has to complete background checks. “The time is not simply for reflection,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic leader. “The time is not for a moment of silence. The time for the Senate is to act. The time is to listen to the American people.” [Read more about mass shootings in 2019.] Returning to Washington from their districts, the lawmakers shared stories from their constituents demanding action. Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan, whose husband, John, was on the board of the National Rifle Association before his death in February, described attending a festival in her hometown in the days after mass shootings in Ohio and Texas. She said an Arab-American child approached her and asked, “Why do people hate us? Are we safe?” “I shouldn’t be answering questions of mothers of kindergartners or of children themselves about whether they are safe or hated,” Ms. Dingell said, her voice […]

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