Rep. Maloney: GOP 'Inactivity' on Gun Reform 'Is Literally Killing Americans'

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y. 12th District)
August 19, 2019

With Congress in recess for the month of August and the president on vacation in Bedminster, very little has been done to address gun reform two weeks after mass shootings took the lives of 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

"The inactivity of the president, and [Senate Majority] Leader McConnell, is literally killing Americans," New York Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney told Cheddar Monday. "It is outrageous."

Maloney is a co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, H.R. 8, that passed the House in February, but has not made any movement in the Senate.

"I would say if guns made us safer, we would be the safest nation on earth," Maloney said.

"Unlike many problems that we don't have an answer for, such as what's the cure for cancer, we know what to do to get guns off the street and other countries have done it," she added.

In various press gaggles and rallies since the shootings, Trump has flip-flopped on the topic of gun control. In the week after the two mass killings, the president issued his support for a background check bill. Nevertheless, last Sunday, Trump told reporters, "But just remember, we already have a lot of background checks."

The president has also pointed early and often to mental illness as a factor in the rise of gun-related deaths in America, a common talking point among gun rights advocates. On his way back to Washington Sunday, he told reporters, "I don't want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. I don't want them to forget that, because it is. It's a mental health problem."

Maloney weighed in on the president's spin: "The President says he wants to make sure that [gun buyers are] not mentally ill. Well, the one way to find out is background checks."

"I support the Second Amendment," Maloney later, saying that "assault weapons, weapons of war that are just designed to kill the most people quickly, they shouldn't be allowed to be sold. They should be banned."

On Monday, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) became the first Republican in the House to support H.R.1296 — the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 — of which Maloney is also a co-sponsor.

"They are weapons of mass slaughter," King said, adding, "I don't see any need for them in everyday society.