Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s progress towards solidifying the legislative text of the bipartisan gun safety bill. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
Democrats and Republicans continue negotiations over the legislative text for the first major gun safety bill to pass the Senate in 30 years.
Just a few weeks ago, such an effort would seem unimaginable; as if there were any issue that encapsulates the gridlock of the past few decades, gun safety would be near the top of the list. For too long Americans have gotten used to a frustrating pattern: tragedy strikes, families grieve, but gridlock in the Senate ensues.
Perhaps this time, hopefully this time it will be different. Many in this chamber are working right now in the hopes that it will be different. We aren’t over the finish line yet, but there is a real hunger, to finally accomplish what has escaped the Senate for far too long: pass meaningful gun safety reform.
Again, not too long ago this debate would have been hard to fathom. But despite the long odds, we gave negotiators space to do their work, and I am glad we did because we now we have the best chance in decades to act on gun violence. I spoke to both Senators Murphy and Cornyn this morning. They're eager to get a text completed. There will be meetings all day long in hopes that we can get the text done so we can put it on the floor as soon as possible and get it passed.
If we can prevent even one death from gun violence in the future, our efforts in this moment will have been worth it.
Gun safety is near and dear to my heart. Three decades ago, I was the proud author of the Brady Bill in Congress, which won the support of many Republicans and even law enforcement.
Back then, I argued we had to get something done because the American people were sick and tired of the insanity and inaction of gun violence, much as they are today.
After years of trying, we succeeded back then – it wasn’t on the first try – in enacting a bill that very likely saved tens of thousands of lives. There are many, many people – thousands, tens of thousands in all likelihood – walking the streets today because we passed the Brady law.
Today the American people are similarly sick and tired of the insanity of gun violence happening every day across the country. Just thinking about all the shootings we’ve suffered over the years is exhausting and debilitating: Columbine, Virginia, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, El Paso, Charleston, Atlanta, Buffalo, Uvalde – the list keeps going on and growing.
The American people have had enough. They want us to move forward. If the Senate can come up with a bill that embraces the bipartisan framework, we are going to save lives.
I’ve promised that once the text is done, I will put it on the floor as soon as possible, so I encourage my colleagues to keep working.
As I mentioned, our Senators on both sides of the aisle are working diligently, all day, to try and come up with a final text as soon as possible.
We don’t know the next time we’ll have a chance to make meaningful progress on gun violence, so we have every reason in the world to get to yes.