Congress weighs gun control measures after latest shootings

WASHINGTON — Amid renewed calls for urgent action on gun control, members of Congress are weighing potentially bipartisan ideas to curb gun violence after mass shootings inEl Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, California,over the last two weeks have left nearly three dozen people dead.

The legislative proposals under consideration include stronger background checks, “red flag” laws that prevent those threatening harm to themselves or others from buying or possessing firearms and bans on large-capacity magazines or assault-style firearms.

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El Paso shooting: Community, family, friends mourn the victims
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El Paso shooting: Community, family, friends mourn the victims
Mariana Cordero cries as she visits a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man hangs up an "El Paso Strong" sign at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman cries as she visits a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman leans over to write a message on a cross at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People crowd around a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman is reflected in a picture as she looks at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. Saturday's mass shooting at the Walmart left multiple people dead and more than two dozen others injured. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
En esta imagen tomada de un video en abril de 2019, migrantes se entregan a agentes fronterizos en El Paso, Texas, después de cruzar hacia territorio estadounidense desde México. (AP Foto/Cedar Attanasio)
Flags fly over crosses at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Gloria Garces se arrodilla el martes 6 de agosto de 2019 en un memorial ubicado cerca de la escena de un tiroteo en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas. (AP Foto/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People visit a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Catalina Saenz wipes tears from her face as she visits a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. A list of the people who died in the weekend shooting rampage at the Walmart, shows that most of the victims had Latino surnames and included one German national. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A woman leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial at the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Gloria Garces kneels in front of crosses at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rene Aguilar and Jackie Flores pray at a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Catalina Saenz wipes tears from her face as she visits a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People crowd around a makeshift memorial near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex over the weekend, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A man cries beside a cross at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The border city jolted by a weekend massacre at a Walmart absorbed more grief Monday as the death toll climbed and prepared for a visit from President Donald Trump over anger from El Paso residents and local Democratic leaders who say he isn't welcome and should stay away. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Angie Attaguile rests her head on her husband, Ray Attaguile's shoulder as they embrace their children during a candlelight vigil for victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Personas visitan un altar improvisado el lunes 5 de agosto de 2019, en el lugar de una masacre en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas. (AP Foto/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team visit the site of a mass shooting over the weekend, at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The team visited to hang a banner that reads "El Paso Strong." (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso huddle around, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, as they visit the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Christina Pipkin cries as she visits a makeshift memorial, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, at the site of a mass shooting at a shopping complex, in El Paso, Texas. "It's hard to see it, it's heartbreaking," said Pipkin about visiting the memorial. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso carry an "El Paso Strong" sign into place near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of the Americas High School football team from El Paso carry an "El Paso Strong" sign into place near the site of a mass shooting over the weekend at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Mayte Santiesteban visits a cross dedicated to her best friend's aunt, who was killed in the weekend shooting, at a makeshift memorial at the site of the mass shooting at a shopping complex, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Daphne Rosas, a former sixth grade student of teacher Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, one of the victims of the shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, shows her class photo with Mendoza in the center, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. Mexico’s government said it considers the shooting that left eight of its citizens dead an “act of terrorism” against Mexicans and hopes it will lead to changes in U.S. gun laws. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
Personas oran frente a un altar improvisado en honor a las víctimas de una masacre en un centro comercial de El Paso, Texas, el lunes 5 de agosto de 2019. (AP Foto/John Locher)
Greg Zanis prepares crosses to place at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Maylin Reyes, right, and Isela Reyes prepare to hang a Mexican flag at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Rene Aguilar y Jackie Flores rezan en un memorial para las víctimas de un tiroteo en El Paso, Texas, el domingo 4 de agosto de 2019. (AP Foto/Andres Leighton)
Greg Zanis prepares crosses to place at a makeshift memorial for victims of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People comfort each other during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cathe Hill wipes tears from her eyes during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. "There's no such thing as a stranger here in El Paso," said Hill about the impact the shooting had on the community. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Children of a youth sports community participate in a vigil for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Unas flores y una imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe adornan un monumento conmemorativo improvisado en honor de las víctimas de un tiroteo en un centro comercial en El Paso, Texas, el domingo 4 de agosto de 2019. El letrero dice: "El Paso es una familia. Permanecemos unidos". (AP Foto/Andrés Leighton)
A man leaves flowers near the scene of a mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Someone left a couple of signs outside Del Sol Medical Center after a mass shooting occurred at Walmart early Saturday in El Paso, TX on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Carmen Roldan brings some flowers to honor the memory of the victims of the mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Jessica Luna hugs her son Julien Lucero, 6, while both of them cry during a vigil at Ponder Park in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Family members hug to each other outside the family reunification center at MacArthur Elementary-Intermediate School in El Paso, Texas on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Amanda Beltran holds her cell phone flashlights up as she wipes her tears away during a vigil Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at Ponder Park in honor of the victims of the mass shooting that occurred in Walmart on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
People march in silence holding sunflowers and sings in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Satuday morning in El Paso on Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
CORRECTS NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED TO MORE THAN 20 - Muralist Manuel Oliver, whose son was killed in the Parkland Florida shooting, at center in red, is flanked by his wife and daughter, left, in black, and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, right in blue, during an unveiling ceremony for Oliver's mural, in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. The mural, which advocates for humane treatment of immigrants, became a memorial after more than 20 people were killed on Saturday in an attack that officials are investigating as a hate crime. O'Rourke is holding a sunflower as a symbolic gesture to Oliver's son, who is said to have carried sunflowers the day he died. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke walks next to his wife Amy Hoover Sanders and Rep. Veronica Escobar Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, during a silent march holding sunflowers in honor to the victims of a mass shooting occurred in Walmart on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (Lola Gomez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Houston Astros players bow their heads during a moment of silence in remembrance of the the mass shooting victims in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio before a baseball game Sunday, August 4, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Three-year-old Andrew Malagon observes a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Employees of Walmart cry as they attend a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting who were killed at the store inside a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
A Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
Clockwise from left, Gabriela Lopez and her husband Roberto Lopez comfort their children Santi Lopez and Max Lopez during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People raise their arms in the air during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Lupe Lopez holds a picture of a victim during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People pray during a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
People attend a vigil for victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Members of a youth sports community participate in a vigil for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
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House and Senate lawmakers are back home in their districts for August recess, however, and are expected to stick to that schedule given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has ignored Democrats’ calls to bring the Senate back for an emergency session to take up House-passed legislation to tighten background checks on gun buyers.

The Senate's absence through Labor Day could diminish any momentum for action, resulting in Congress not passing any legislation at all — as was the case after numerous mass shootings over the last decade such as the 2012 Newtown mass shooting, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting and 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“I think that we have to take advantage of this moment of opportunity because once it passes, we go back to the status quo,” said Michael Siegel, professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health, who has studied how state gun laws affect gun violence.

A study Siegel conducted of state gun laws and their effects from 1991 to 2016 found that universal background checks, red flag laws and bans on gun possession for those who have committed violent misdemeanors would have the greatest effect in reducing gun deaths.

Democrats are calling on McConnell to take up a bill the House passed in February that would establish new background check requirements for firearm transfers between unlicensed people. But only eight House Republicans voted in favor of the bill, and its Senate outlook is uncertain.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he wants to revisit a similar universal background checks measure he co-sponsored with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that fell six votes short of advancing in 2013. Of the four Republicans who backed the proposal at the time, only Toomey and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, still serve in the Senate.

After speaking with President Donald Trump and with McConnell after the shootings, however, Toomey said calling the Senate back to Washington immediately could backfire for those seeking legislative action.

“If we force a vote tomorrow, then I think the vote probably fails and we may actually set back this whole effort," Toomey said during a conference call with reporters on Monday. "So for a successful outcome, which is what I want, then I think you work towards developing the coalition and the consensus so that you actually get the right outcome.”

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Dayton, Ohio shooting: Families, locals and more mourn the victims
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Dayton, Ohio shooting: Families, locals and more mourn the victims
Jamila McNichols, sister of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, mourns beside a memorial near the scene of the mass shooting Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Family members of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, from left, Donna Johnson, aunt, and sisters Jamila and Finesse McNichols, mourn beside a memorial near the scene of the shooting Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A mourner prays his rosary beads beside a memorial outside Ned Peppers bar that was the scene of a mass shooting the previous day Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Finesse McNichols, sister of slain mass shooting victim Thomas "TJ" McNichols, mourns beside a memorial near the scene of the crime, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather outside Ned Peppers bar that was the scene of a mass shooting the previous day, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners pause for a prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting during a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A makeshift memorial is setup outside Ned Peppers bar following a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners comfort one another during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, left, speaks alongside Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, right, during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners sing as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Balloons are released as mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners light candles as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners light candles as they participate in a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A masked gunman in body armor opened fire early Sunday in the popular entertainment district in Dayton, killing several people, including his sister, and wounding dozens before he was quickly slain by police, officials said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Doves are released over gathered mourners during a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners bow their heads in prayer as they gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Flowers are placed at the front of a business as mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A tight bullet pattern remains in the window of a storefront as mourners gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A mourner places flowers at the front of Ned Peppers bar as they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners hugs at the front of Ned Peppers bar while they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners place flowers and candles at the front of Ned Peppers bar while they gather at the scene of a mass shooting before a prayer vigil, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Mourners gather at a vigil following a nearby mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Multiple people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Annette Gibson-Strong cries after visiting a memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Annette Gibson-Strong visits a memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in El Paso, Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A memorial to those killed in yesterday's mass shooting sits along the sidewalk in the Oregon District on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was subsequently shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 22 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A memorial to yesterday's shooting victims sits in the Oregon District following on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: A mourner prays at a makeshift memorial in the Oregon District following yesterday's mass shooting on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Mourners pray at a makeshift memorial in the Oregon District following yesterday's mass shooting on August 05, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed and another 27 injured when a gunman identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire with a AR-15 style rifle in the popular entertainment district. Betts was shot and killed by police. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall killing 20 people. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt warned that Republicans will face angry voters at home in their districts if they wait to take action.

“August recess is going to be a very rough month for Republicans because I think what you are going to see is grassroots activists in every district, particularly districts that are up in 2020,” he said. “We have 300 grassroots events already scheduled for just this week. So that gives you a little bit of taste of what August is going to be like.”

Monday morning, Trump initially called for “strong background checks” on Twitter, saying such legislation could be paired with “desperately needed immigration reform.” In later remarks at the White House, he also called for red flag laws and for legislators to reform mental health laws.

Experts, however, have said there's no evidence that people with mental illness are at a higher risk for committing gun violence.

"It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violence," the American Psychiatric Association said in a statement this week. "Rhetoric that argues otherwise will further stigmatize and interfere with people accessing needed treatment. Individuals can also be emboldened to act violently by the public discourse and divisive rhetoric."

Democrats expressed skepticism that Trump will commit to these plans given that he initially voiced support for background checks after the Parkland shooting in 2018 only to make more modest proposals after discussions with the NRA.

McConnell has tasked three committee chairmen to “reflect” on what Trump raised as possible legislative solutions, and said they should engage in bipartisan discussions of potential solutions “without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he is “ready to do more, especially on background checks, to identify those who shouldn’t have guns.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that he’s working on a red flag law with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Other Republicans such as Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also have advocated stronger background checks.

“I think you're seeing some significant movement within the Republican Party on this issue,” said Feinblatt, “And I think you're going to hear more voices, particularly voices among Republican senators like Cory Gardner or Thom Tillis, both of whom are up in 2020, and their constituents expect them to protect themselves and their families.”

Schumer said in a statement this week that “red flag” laws — which the NRA suggested this week it would be open to — are not a sufficient solution to the problem of gun violence and called for passing universal background checks.

“We Democrats are not going to settle for half-measures so Republicans can feel better and try to push the issue of gun violence off to the side," he said. "Democrats in the Senate will seek to require that any [red flag] bill that comes to the floor is accompanied by a vote on the House-passed universal background checks legislation.”

Some Democrats are pushing for Congress to revive the assault weapons ban that President Bill Clinton signed into law, which expired in 2004 — including Clinton himself. But some reviews of the law, including a report commissioned by the National Institute of Justice, found that the ban had mixed results, and gun policy experts have suggested a prohibition on large-capacity magazines could also help reduce shooting deaths.

“It was too easy [under the assault weapons ban] for manufacturers to make simple modifications to guns so they weren’t subject to the ban and then sell that part as an aftermarket accessory," said Cassandra Crifasi, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. "I think it would be far more effective to focus on limiting access to large capacity magazines that allow an individual to fire lots of rounds without having to reload.”

Siegel added, “You could have a pistol that has 30 rounds in it. As far as I'm concerned, that's an assault weapon. I don't want somebody with 30-round magazines and a pistol coming into a public place. You can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.”

Laura Dugan, associate chair at University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said that while no single policy will end all mass shootings, measures can at least curb them.

“The harder we make for somebody to be able to spray bullets across the room people, the better it is, the better it'll be," she said. "Will it end mass shootings? Probably not. Will it save lives? Probably."

12 PHOTOS
9 killed in Ohio in second mass shooting within 24 hours
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9 killed in Ohio in second mass shooting within 24 hours
Authorities work the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities work the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. A several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities work at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Authorities work at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Autoridades trabajando en el lugar de un tiroteo masivo, el domingo 4 de agosto de 2019 en Dayton, Ohio. (AP Foto/John Minchillo)
Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Witnesses comfort one another at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speaks during a news conference regarding a mass shooting earlier in the morning, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. At least nine people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Bodies are removed from at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Recent surveys have shown that an overwhelming majority of the public supports background checks — including gun owners. A 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, for example, found that 97 percent of gun owners support universal background checks.

Some experts hope that Republican discussion of potential reforms could make a difference this time.

“I think that the more people who own guns speak out against the type of gun laws that we have, I think [it] will also be really helpful, because hearing liberal people speak out about what we need is more gun laws isn't really changing anyone's minds," Dugan said. "We need people who are strong gun advocates say, 'no more.'"

 

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