Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to continue working with Congress on gun control measures despite Democrats' official impeachment inquiry over a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Specifically, Schumer wants Trump to consider backing universal background checks, a bill known as HR 8 that passed in the House earlier this year.
“Amidst the impeachment inquiry the gears of government can still move. Anyone who suggests otherwise is advancing a false narrative,” Schumer said at his Manhattan office on Sunday, the New York Post reported. “In fact, the best example of governing for this president … would be to pass the universal background bill, which has been sitting on the door step of the Senate for well over 200 days.”
Schumer's call comes after Trump met with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre last week.
“President Trump must do whatever it takes to resist the clouded comfort he craves from the likes of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, because it will lead to inaction on one of the single biggest issues Americans want addressed: universal gun background checks,” Schumer said in a statement. “I challenge President Trump today to govern. Allowing the NRA or other nefarious interests to call the shots amid this impeachment inquiry will only backfire on this White House, and the American people will be worse off for it. Congress can still move on major issues while the House impeachment inquiry advances, and it must."
Democrats have focused on pushing universal background checks, which would require a background check to take place for private sales and transfers as well as a ban and "buyback" of so-called "assault weapons."
The reason pro-gun advocates are against universal background checks is because it turns legal, law-abiding gun owners into criminals. If I want to let a friend or family member borrow a rifle for hunting we would have to go to a federal firearms licensee (FFL), he or she would have to go through a background check and the firearm would have to be transferred to their name. And when the gun is to be returned to me, I would have to undergo the same process. We would have to legally transfer firearms, on paper, in order for it to be legal. I couldn't let the person borrow the rifle, even if I know they're law-abiding and not a prohibited possessor.
The same process holds true for a domestic violence survivor who fears for her life. If I let her borrow a firearm for self-protection, without a background check and transfer, we'd both be criminals.
And if we want to take someone new to the range to shoot for the very first time, the same thing would happen. No background check? It's illegal.
But these are the kind of narratives we never hear anything about. They're the unintended consequences that these proposals would have. And, honestly, how many criminals actually go to a gun store and buy a firearm? They don't. They obtain them on the black market. That's not something that can be legislatively fixed. All it does it punish those of us who follow the law.