WASHINGTON — The possibility of passing major or even moderately impactful gun control legislation in the wake of the shootings in Tucson, A.Z. is remote, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) acknowledged on Sunday.
“Look,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “let’s be honest here. There haven’t been the votes in the congress for gun control. We have had some victories. … But make no mistake about it: The changes are hard. Senator [Dianne] Feinstein tried to bring the assault weapons ban back on the floor. It didn’t pass. So we are looking for things where we could maybe find some common ground and get things done.”
In light of the political math, Schumer said that he and his colleagues would focus more on filling in the obvious gaps in current laws than in reintroducing far-reaching legislation. There would be, he said, an effort to tighten the restrictions on those categorized as mentally ill or drug abusers from purchasing weapons. Additionally, the senator would push for better information-sharing mechanisms between the military and law-enforcement personnel so as to flag potentially troubled individuals. On these two fronts, Schumer personally wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday, demanding quick action (the letter is pasted below).