Gun control debate continues on Capitol Hill

Gun control debate continues on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Dozens of Senate Democrats met on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to unveil new gun safety legislation. They spoke out about just how out of step they think Congress is on gun control.

They outlined three main principles. They want to strengthen the background check system, close background check loopholes and shut down the illegal gun pipeline.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin who supported similar legislation in 2013 says while he supports second amendment rights the gun safety bill is common sense legislation.

"All we said is close the loopholes and close a gun show and there’s not a law abiding gun owner in West Virginia that wants to sell a gun to a criminal or to someone who has been adjudicated mentally,” Manchin said.

Members of the National Rifle Association agree with the mental health reform but believe that is where the focus should stay.

"That’s the critical part. Making sure that we identify those people who have been adjudicated as mentally ill and pose a threat to either themselves or to others we need to make sure those people don’t have access to firearms,” Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said.

Mortensen said universal background checks wouldn’t have stopped the recent high profile shootings from happening. She said each one of those guns were purchased legally.

"Expanding a broken system isn’t going to make us any safer,” she added.

According to the Pew Research Center, about eighty five percent of all Americans favor universal background checks on gun sales.

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