Debbie Dingell: 'We have to do something about guns in this country'

House Democrats call for Senate action on bill to expand gun background checks

Rep. Debbie Dingell joins the push to get the Senate to act on House legislation on gun background checks as children head back to school

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., begged for bipartisan efforts on gun reform on Tuesday, calling on her colleagues to help "do something" about the issue in the country.

Appearing on “America’s Newsroom,” Dingell told host Bill Hemmer, “what we’re trying to do is just get the Senate to act on the background check bills that we passed in February.”

“We’ve got to stop this traditional ‘go into your corner, everybody takes a position, nobody talking to each other',” she pleaded. “We have to do something about guns in this country. People are scared.”

Calls for gun-violence prevention were renewed after two recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 dead and wounded dozens more.

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“Do you know that 93 percent of the children between 0 and 14 of the top 25 industrialized nations that are killed by guns are Americans?” Dingell asked Hemmer. “Something’s wrong with that figure.”

As of August 5, there have been 255 mass shootings in the United States, according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA). By that count, there have been more U.S. mass shootings than days in 2019 so far.

On Tuesday, House Democrats held a press conference on Capitol Hill to call for Senate action — namely by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has expressed a new openness to unspecified gun curbs—on background check legislation.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties, requires a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer or importer first take possession to conduct a background check and does not apply to certain firearm transfers, such as a gift between spouses in good faith.

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The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee is considering returning from summer recess to hold early September votes on gun control legislation.

Dingell is not the only one advocating for this bill and so-called “red flag” laws. President Trump told reporters at the White House that he would like to see a bipartisan effort work toward “meaningful background checks.”

“Look, it's very simple. There's nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don't want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac. And, I think if we do proper background checks, we can prevent that,” he said Tuesday.

“I’ve talked to law enforcement officers who believe they don’t have enough tools,” Dingell said. “That when people have said ‘this person’s talking this way’ or ‘I’m worried about my father, my son,’ that they need a tool to be able to take the gun away. Protect due process.”

The Capitol’s official record-keeping website, Congress.gov, shows that 110 bills containing the word “gun” were introduced since this Congress convened in January. Just one of the bills passed both chambers to become law. It was a spending bill that ended the partial government shutdown in January. It included $20 million in funding to “reduce crime and gang violence.”

“It’s complicated stuff. I agree. Nobody said that it was easy,” Dingell stated. “But, what I’d like to see instead of going to our corner and everybody having the same old position: let’s put everybody at the table and talk about ways.”

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“I know what it’s like to live in fear of a gun,” Dingell told Hemmer.

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