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Despite Senate stonewall, Democrats focus on bills for widely-supported gun background checks

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — With Congress back from a summer session,
Democrats said their first order of business is to help protect lives.

“We will make sure the issue of gun safety remains front and center,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

Schumer is calling for a vote on bills including H.R.8, which would expand background checks. The House already approved the measure, but it stalled in the Senate.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) said supporters aren’t giving up.

“Be relentless, just because one chamber chooses not to govern doesn’t mean we are going to acquiesce,” Escobar said.

Another bipartisan bill up for consideration would expand background checks to all commercial sales. But some lawmakers say passing more laws focused on background checks won’t keep guns out of the wrong hands.

“Are you suggesting we pass a law to pretend like we are doing something but actually not have a positive impact on saving lives?” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Cornyn said new laws alone won’t prevent crime and supports further discussions on legislative solutions.

“What can and what should we do to stop incidents like these in the future?” asked Cornyn.

But Virginia Senator Mark Warner urges lawmakers to take action

“Let’s start with where there is the most agreement, universal background checks. 93% of Americans agree we need to put in place universal background checks,” Warner said.

In addition to examining background checks, lawmakers say they’re weighing “red flag” laws as another option to keep guns away from dangerous people.