McConnell: Senate to consider gun legislation after recess

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky., speaks to a gathering of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in Covington, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he hopes to consider legislation to expand federal background checks and other gun violence measures when Congress resumes in the fall.

The Republican leader told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday, adding that Trump “is anxious to get an outcome and so am I.”

Republicans have resisted expanding federal background checks for gun purchases, but face enormous pressure to do something in the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend that killed 31 people.

The Republican leader is rejecting calls to force senators back to Washington from their summer recess to work on gun measures. He says that would just lead to senators “scoring points and nothing would happen.”

McConnell’s announcements comes on the same day more than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, sent a letter to Washington, urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation.

In a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, the mayors write, “Our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them.”

The mayors are urging the Senate to vote on two House-passed bills expanding background checks for gun sales that passed that chamber earlier this year.

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