PHOENIX — The halls of the U.S. Senate were silent Monday despite calls for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconvene and begin work on gun control legislation.
In February, the House passed the first major new firearm restrictions in more decade. It has languished on McConnell's desk ever since. "I think, especially in this state, you need to be calling both your senators," Congressman Ruben Gallego (D) Arizona said.
There are signs the U.S. Senate may finally take up gun control. Senators Blumenthal (D) Connecticut and Graham (R) South Carolina plan to introduce bi-partisan legislation creating a federal grant program encouraging states to adopt red flag laws.
Governor Doug Ducey said "support from President Trump and Congressional leaders for 'red flag' laws is important, and a common-sense approach to protect public safety."
Ducey tried twice to pass a red flag law in Arizona. First in 2018 following the school shooting in Florida. Then during this most recent session of the legislature. In both cases, lawmakers rejected it.
The proposal allows parents, law enforcement and educators the right to seek a court order temporarily taking away firearms from a person considered a danger to themselves or others.
"This is an idea that's time has come," the governor says. "We remain hopeful both sides can come together to advance commonsense policies that make meaningful impact."
Congressman Gallego meanwhile says it's wrong to use mental health as a reason for the shootings. Gallego, an Iraq war veteran says Congress needs to do more to limit access to weapons of war.
"These are the same weapons terrorists used to try and kill me. The fact American citizens can use these weapons and get them so quickly and turnaround and use them on Americans is a problem," Gallego said.
For now Congressman Gallego knows restricting access to guns, may be limited to extending the time the FBI has to conduct a background check. Anything else, seems hopelessly optimistic.