DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The U.S. Senate has returned this week for its fall session facing mounting pressure to act on gun control legislation.
Senator Sherrod Brown is among many Democratic senators that have recently criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his unwillingness to bring forward any form of legislation aimed at combating gun violence and weapons accessibility.
Brown said he and Mayor Whaley spoke with President Trump while he visited victims of the Oregon District shootings and urged the President to pressure Majority Leader McConnell into action.
“The President said he wanted to do background checks,” Brown said. “Since then, he seems to have changed his mind.”
In recent weeks, McConnell has expressed a willingness to push gun legislation forward, but only if that legislation has been approved by the Trump administration.
Majority Leader McConnell also said that he would not be pressured by the “theatrics” of Senate Democrats, like Sen. Brown, who are calling for action.
Government and corporate reactions to gun laws have varied in the wake of mass shootings like the ones in the Oregon District and El Paso.
Governor Mike DeWine announced that he would be pursuing a variety of initiatives through state laws that do not require congressional approval.
“I think Governor DeWine has taken some good steps, I’ve told him that,” Brown said. “I would like to see the [Ohio] legislature go along with the Governor.”
Brown did express concern that the Ohio legislature would act similarly to Washington and oppose the proposals being pushed by Governor DeWine.
Walmart has also announced that it would no longer be carrying handgun ammunition after a series of gun-related incidents occurred in their stores across the country. The company also asked customers to refrain from carrying weapons openly throughout the store.
“More and more corporations are changing their policies,” Brown said. “The public supports background checks and corporate American should be there too. I think that’s really important.”
Brown said that he believes change will only come once lawbreakers free themselves from the gun lobbyists in Washington.
“We’re not giving up,” Brown said.
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