McConnell Agrees to Support Gun Legislation

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, is in agreement with a bipartisan gun safety bill that could pass the Senate this week.

“I support the bill text that Senator Cornyn and our colleagues have produced,” McConnell said in a statement on Tuesday. “For years, the far left falsely claimed that Congress could only address the terrible issue of mass murders by trampling on law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights. This bill proves that false.

“Our colleagues have put together a commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” he continued.

A bipartisan bill developed by Senators Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, includes financial incentives for states to pass red-flag laws, funding for school safety and mental health resources, and expanded background checks for prospective gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21.

McConnell’s comments on the legislation are notable as control of the Senate is up for grabs and the House is poised to swing to the GOP with midterm elections taking place in November. Many Republicans in rural states, like Kentucky have voted against anyone who dared to shift gun laws. McConnell did tell reporters that senators will take a position based on the views held in their states, which could spell some political trouble from the liberty wing of the GOP for McConnell-endorsed candidates.

According to PBS, Cornyn presented GOP polling data at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday showing support among gun owners for the pieces of the bill are “off the charts, overwhelming.”

The last major gun bill to pass Congress was an assault weapons ban that took place in 1994 but expired in 2004.