Schumer Calls on President Trump to Bring Together Congressional Leaders on Gun Safety

Schumer: I am also calling on President Trump to bring together the Leaders of Congress, and let both sides know he is ready and willing to address this issue of gun safety head-on.

October 3, 2017

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging President Trump and Congressional Leaders to act on legislation to improve gun safety. Below are his remarks:

The nation continues to reel from the awful, awful events of Sunday night in Las Vegas. The most deadly mass shooting in modern American history has gotten even deadlier in the last 24 hours. 59 dead. 527 injured. Some wounded by gunfire. Some injured because they were trampled in the chaos of 22,000 concertgoers fleeing for their lives from the scene.

The police found 23 guns in the hotel room of the monster who committed this atrocity and 19 more at his home, some of them modified to cause even more carnage.

Of course, as always, the beauty of the American people pulled through. The first responders…I saw on TV today a man who had been shot, two young women came, risking their lives as those shots were going, took off his belt and tied a tourniquet around his upper thigh because he was bleeding profusely from his legs, and they saved his life. He said he will never know who they are. But they saved his life. And that story I’m sure will be repeated over and over again. The valor, the bravery of the average American, the greatness of our first responders, is the only counterpoint to the evil, the carnage, the horror that we have all witnessed. 

We cannot banish evil or madness from the earth. But we must do what is within our power to make our country a safer place to live.

We need common-sense reforms. And these reforms have broad public support. 

In the face of tens of thousands of gun deaths every year, too many Republicans in Congress have tried to enact the dream agenda of the NRA and the gun lobby. They’ve pursued a national concealed carry law. 

Can you imagine if that law passed? This horrible, horrible man could conceal carry under the laws of Nevada, and come to Times Square in New York City or Disneyland in Florida, and just shoot away. Most of our police organizations are against this concealed carry bill. How in the light of the carnage, knowing the evil that exists, magnified the power of evil, magnified by guns and automatic weapons; how could we try to pursue it? 

And what about gun silencers? There’s a move actually in this Congress, it’s in the House right now - I’m sure it has support here on the other side of the aisle in the Senate - to make it easier for citizens to acquire silencers. Why? 

Let me tell you something. One of the few ways the police had to go after this shooter was they could look for the sound, try to hear the sound of where the guns came from. 

Thank God our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have pulled back on this bill. It’s not the first time. 

They had to postpone a hearing on the bill when the Republican Congressional baseball team was attacked at an early morning practice. When two mass shootings force you to delay a bill that would make those mass shootings harder to detect and stop, maybe that’s a sign you ought to let go of the bill go, once and for all.

And of course we have this absurd NRA nostrum that if everyone had a gun we would all be safe. Because people who are in an arena, a place where someone was shooting, could shoot them back. Well they sure couldn’t have shot back at someone thirty-two stories up in a hotel. 

This idea that “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is absurd in this situation. It’s absurd in many situations. 

So, where do we go from here? Well, this place has been gridlocked on the issue of gun control for a while. 

But President Trump, before he ran for office, was for certain sane, rational, limited aspects of gun control. After Sandy Hook he called for the gun laws to be tightened. And so, I know when he ran, the power of the NRA, the money of the NRA, the narrow special interest NRA- lobbyists here are just the swamp he decried, small groups going against the public interest and persuading Congress to do that.

But maybe he can have a bit of a reawakening because of the horror of what happened as he goes to Las Vegas tomorrow. 

Today I am calling on the President to come out against the absurd law about silencers. Threaten to veto it if he must and put an end to that bill. 

I am also calling on President Trump to bring together the Leaders of Congress, and let both sides know he is ready and willing to address this issue of gun safety head-on. He should tell members of his party that it’s time to work addressing this epidemic that costs the lives of more than 30,000 Americans a year. 

I’m glad the President is going to Las Vegas, that’s a good idea. But he should take it a step further. Call us together and lead this nation in some rational laws about gun safety that the overwhelming majority of Americans – Democrat, Republican, and Independent – support. 

If we truly want to honor our first responders and protect our fellow Americans, as we all say we do, President Trump should stand up and tell the NRA they are not always right. Abandon some of their more extreme policies – I’d abandon most of them – and come to the table to do the work that so many Americans are desperate for Congress to do.