Sen. Harry Reid still hasn’t articulated his feelings about stepping up gun bans and background checks, – and it is leading some Republicans to question the majority leader’s commitment to bringing up a proposal.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he was “unclear” about whether Reid “wants to bring a gun measure to the floor.”
Reid bristled at the suggestion, telling reporters: “I’m going to do everything within my power to bring legislation dealing with guns, with violence generally, to the floor.”
But Reid would not say whether he planned to support California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s proposed ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines — the first concrete legislative action in the Senate, which she introduced last week.
“She’s talked to me about the assault weapons ban, the new one. She believes in it fervently and I admire her for that,” Reid said, saying he would take a look at it.
“We’re going to have votes on all kinds of issues dealing with guns. And I think everyone would be well-advised to read the legislation before they determine how they’re going to vote for it.”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are leading a national effort to regulate guns more tightly in the wake of the Dec. 14 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 dead, including 20 children, the gunman and his mother.
Part of the effort has been a series of conversations with local stakeholders and national advocates. On Monday, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie met with Obama, Biden and 12 other sheriffs and chiefs of police from cities and towns across the country — including Newtown, Conn. — to discuss gun control.
Metro Police said Gillespie would not be available to comment about the meeting.
In the Senate, the formal review of gun control on begins on Wednesday with a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee about gun violence. National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and Mark Kelly, husband of gun violence victim and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords are expected to testify.