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Congressman hopes Senate vote brings gun reform

U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford: "National problem"
Posted at 12:16 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 13:27:03-04

With the mass shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando, time and time again, U.S. lawmakers look to Capitol Hill for answers.

The rhetoric, common after mass casualty violence, is a national problem, says U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford of the second congressional district.

He says the right to bear arms is “a right embedded in the Consitituion,” but only applies to law-abiding citizens.

Not terrorists.

“Obviously, some of the terrorist attacks are not done with a gun, but a lot of them are,” Ashford says. “You're going get such a push back from the right to bear arms some day that –  that could even be in jeopardy.”

Ashford says he supports a bill from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley which includes mental health considerations for background checks.

“It actually has the support of the NRA,” he says.  

The Republican representative is pushing for additional funds to make it easier for national background checks to access mental health records.

The other three bills focus include:

  • A background check for sales at gun shows and online, introduced by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
  • A "No fly, No buy" for those on a terrorist watch list including those who are believed to be involved with terrorism, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
  • An alert for law enforcement notifying them if someone on the terror watch list attempts to buy from a licensed dealer, which prompts a three day delay to check for terrorist connections, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

But on CBS' “Face the Nation,” NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre says the reforms divert attention.

“What happened this past week is the President – the whole gun ban movement said -- they don't look at terrorists,” he LaPierre told host John Dickerson during Sunday’s show. “ Look over here...divert your attention. Take your eyes off the problem. Because they don't want to face their embarrassment of this failure in this terrorist area and they want to cover their butts and not talk about it.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the bills at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Political experts say it is unlikely any of these bill will pass.