Mar 31, 2023 - Politics & Policy

"Time for Congress to put kids over guns," top Democrat says

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (left) and Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc and Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is pressing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to hold a vote on "common sense" gun safety legislation in the aftermath of Monday's Nashville school shooting.

The big picture: Though the shooting revived the gridlocked debate around a federal assault weapons ban, some Republicans have maintained that congressional action isn't going to "fix" gun violence.

The other side: In a letter to McCarthy on Friday, Jeffries called Republicans' response "unacceptable" and emphasized that the number of mass shootings in America "exploded" after Congress allowed the federal assault weapons ban to expire.

  • Jeffries noted that America has already had 130 mass shootings in the first few months of 2023 alone. "Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in America," he wrote.
  • "Our schools have become killing fields and our children slaughtered by weapons of war. It is time for Congress to put kids over guns," he said.
  • "I urge you to bring the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, Assault Weapons Ban and other gun safety measures to the House floor as soon as possible," he wrote. "Our children cannot wait."

Worth noting: 63% of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with the America's gun laws, according to a Gallup poll published in February.

Go deeper: Poll: Americans overwhelmingly prioritize gun control over ownership rights

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