Harry Reid Revives Call For Gun Control After Las Vegas Shootings


Remember gun control?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday revived his call for legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases after an unhinged Las Vegas couple went on a shooting spree on Sunday that killed two police officers and one civilian before they took their own lives.

“My deepest sympathies are with the families of those who died. We in Congress, we do need to put in place legislation that helps prevent these deranged, these weird, these evil people who carry out such savage acts of violence,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor. “Background checks — so that people who are criminals, who are deranged can’t buy a gun. The American people are depending on us to pass legislation to prevent gun violence and safeguard communities, schools and families.”

Whether gun legislation will come up again in the Senate is a different matter.

It has been nearly 14 months since legislation to require background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows and Internet sales fell to a Republican-led filibuster, coming up 5 votes short of the 60 needed to move forward. Since then the bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), hasn’t picked up any new supporters, as Reid has repeatedly acknowledged over the last year. Wary of the power of the pro-gun lobby, Democrats have also largely steered clear of the issue on the 2014 campaign trail.

“There is not a single senator that I know of that says ‘let’s get rid of all the — let’s make sure people don’t have guns.’ We’re not saying that,” Reid said.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.