WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gun laws were the focus on Capitol Hill Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado and less than a week after the shootings at spas in Atlanta.
“Inaction by this Congress makes us complicit,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
“What happens in this committee after every mass shooting is Democrats propose taking away guns from law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Lawmakers heard emotional testimony from Robin Brule, whose mother and her friend were shot and killed in an Arizona retirement community.
“My mother’s death began with an internet search for a gun. Because of loopholes in our law, it was perfectly legal to sell them the gun,” Brule said. “No background checks. No questions asked.”
Brule pleaded for support for stricter background checks which the House passed earlier this month.
“Please honor her memory with action,” Brule said.
A police chief offered his perspective in support of expanded background checks.
“Ensuring that all individuals getting a background check before a firearm could be transferred and ensuring enough time is provided for that background check is a top priority of mine,” said Fernando Spagnolo, Chief of the Waterbury, CT Police Department.
But gun rights advocates cautioned against new restrictions.
“We need to defend ourselves,” said Chris Cheng, the History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 Champion. “Not three days or 20 days from now but right now.”
Some gun owners argued against expanded background checks.
“There are certainly appropriate ways of addressing and narrowly tailoring legislation to address that problem but this, this is not it,” said Amy Swearer with The Heritage Foundation.
Senate Democrats are pushing for a vote in the Senate on the expanded background checks.