UPDATE: Constituents, Local Editorial Boards Call on Republican Senators to Take Action to Stop Gun Violence

Nearly a week after horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Republican Senators have yet to heed their constituents’ calls to take action on long-overdue gun violence prevention measures like expanding background checks. The pressure has only continued to mount since the start of recess, yet Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still won’t commit to holding a vote on reforms and vulnerable Republican Senators have refused to act to keep their constituents safe.

Here’s what they’re saying about Senate Republicans’ ongoing failure to act on their constituents’ calls for gun safety reform:

  • Arizona – Arizona Daily Star (Editorial): “We call on Arizona [Sen.]… Martha McSally to counter McConnell’s cowardice and do everything possible to bring these bills forward for a vote. Doing nothing is not an option.”
  • Colorado – Denver Post: “…people crowded around Gardner and questioned him further about guns and immigration. He didn’t directly answer a question about whether he will continue to take donations from the National Rifle Association.”
  • Colorado – Aspen Times: “The Yuma Republican, citing constitutional rights, said he has no desire to implement gun-control measures to curb the violence. ‘I don’t support gun control,’ he said”
  • Colorado – Denver Post (Editorial): “Congress should start this week, as U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet aptly pointed out calling for Senate President Mitch McConnell to end summer recess and consider gun-control legislation. Sen. Cory Gardner should stand in support of reasonable gun restrictions.”
  • Georgia – WXIA: “Sen. David Perdue… says he won’t support a background check bill passed by the Democratic House… The Center for Responsive politics says Sen. Perdue has gotten $34,600 in campaign contributions from gun rights groups.”
  • Iowa – Quad City Times (Editorial): “The House, which is controlled by Democrats, passed a background check bill earlier this year but it has languished in the Republican-controlled Senate. The bipartisan legislation offered by Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, failed to clear the Senate in both 2013 and 2015. (Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, have voted to oppose the legislation.) We would hope the experiences of the last few years would change their minds. We are not confident, though.”
  • Kentucky – Louisville Courier-Journal: “Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell is facing renewed and intense pressure to have the U.S. Senate do something after back-to-back shootings killed more than two dozen people over the weekend… This year, McConnell, who declined a request for further comment left with his office, has ignored multiple gun-control measures passed by the Democrat-controlled House.”
  • Maine – Washington Post: “Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, one of the five Democrats running for the nomination to face Collins in 2020, tweeted that the senator should ask Republican leaders to ‘bring the Senate back to Washington to take action’ on gun legislation.”
  • North Carolina – WTVD: “Local advocates and others are still trying to process what happened during the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. One of those is Drew Pescaro, who is soon headed back to class at UNC Charlotte… On Monday he tweeted directly at U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis: ‘I was a victim of a mass shooting in April in your state and two have happened in the past day in other places in the country. Why wait any longer and let other communities and people get hurt?’”
  • North Carolina – CBC (Editorial): “Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis need to abandon their partisan orthodoxy and back the common sense House-passed bill to require background checks for nearly all gun purchases or exchanges. This is a small, but important step in the correct direction.”
  • North Carolina – Fayetteville Observer (Editorial): “Among bills that have passed the U.S. House of Representatives by wide margins are ones that would require background checks on all purchases, and another that would institute a ‘red flag’ law that enables family members or law officers limit access to firearms of someone deemed a threat. Both bills have drawn some GOP support but are being blocked in the senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Where are North Carolina’s two senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on these bills? Inquiring minds want to know.”
  • Texas – Corpus Christi Caller-Times: “Cruz and Cornyn were asked about measures Congress could take to address the epidemic of deadly mass shootings, including two this weekend that left a total of 31 dead. The senators sidestepped questions about reducing access to high-powered, military-style rifles and high-round magazines like the ones used in the El Paso shooting and the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, some 13 hours later.”
  • Texas – Austin American-Statesman (Editorial): “We also can no longer tolerate the status quo that allows our elected representatives to merely offer prayers without mentioning guns and to hide behind soundbites about now not being the time to invoke politics. We must hold our officials, including… Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, accountable to the task of finding solutions in meaningful gun reform legislation. They and the American people cannot talk about mass shootings without addressing guns.”


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