Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Friday that Congress’s conversation on passing new gun control laws is “not over.”
Reid’s comments came a day before the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., which resulted in 20 children and six school staffers being killed.
“Last December I promised the families a meaningful conversation about how to change America’s culture of violence,” Reid said in a floor speech, according to The Hill. “I want everyone within the sound of my voice to know that the conversation is not over.”
Reid did not specify when his chamber might try and take up passing new gun laws again, but he did say that a majority of Americans support additional gun restrictions for people with mental illnesses or a history of crime.
“Why should someone that has severe mental illness and someone who is a criminal be able to purchase a gun? They shouldn’t,” Reid said. “Those that are trying to stop that legislation from going forward should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.”
The Senate attempted and failed to pass a new gun bill that would have expanded background checks on gun purchases earlier in 2013. Since then proponents of strengthening the nation’s gun restrictions have said that Congress should revisit the matter, but movement in Congress has been slow.
The Gun Owners of America, one of the more aggressive pro-gun groups, published a message to supporters on Friday highlighting its victories in helping to prevent passage of gun laws.
“Since the shooting last year, Gun Owners of America has spent thousands upon thousands of hours debating anti-gun spokesmen … lobbying Congress … and blanketing the airwaves with a hard-hitting, pro-gun message,” the message said.