Democratic governors call on Trump, McConnell to support gun control measures

A group of 12 Democratic governors on Tuesday wrote to President TrumpDonald John Trump5 things to watch in critical NC race Remembering 9/11: How the suicide attacks led to two vastly different wars Conservative strategist calls Steyer’s 2020 bid a ‘vanity run’ MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Bolton out as national security adviser Suburban anxiety drives GOP on guns Democrats play to Trump’s ego on guns MORE (R-Ky.) calling on them to pass an array of “sensible” gun control measures.

The letter comes in the aftermath of a series of fatal shootings in Gilroy, Calif.; El Paso and Odessa, both in Texas; Dayton, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pa. The shootings in total killed 34 people. The governors said the onus is on the federal government to create a “coherent” policy to curtail gun violence. 

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“Public safety is the first and most important responsibility of government, and the failure to act to protect the public is a failure in leadership. As Governors, it is our responsibility to listen to our communities’ calls for action. However, a patchwork of state laws will never be a substitute for coherent national policy,” the governors wrote. 

“Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue. Gun deaths do not have to be the norm. The time is now to break the cycle by enacting four common-sense measures.” 

The governors called on Trump and McConnell to support red flag laws, which would permit local authorities to remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others, universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and stricter reporting requirements to try to prevent those judged to have mental health issues from buying guns.

The letter was signed by Govs. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.), Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomCalifornia governor signs legislation cracking down on fraudulent vaccine exemptions California GOP opens path to send delegates to 2020 convention even if Trump isn’t on ballot Overnight Energy: Trump officials warn California car pollution deal could violate the law | DOJ investigating automakers over emissions agreement | Dem wants probe of Interior’s new FOIA rules MORE (Calif.), Ned Lamont (Conn.), John CarneyJohn Charles CarneyConnecticut Governor backs Joe Biden McConnell introducing bill to raise age to buy tobacco to 21 Delaware gov signs bill awarding electoral votes to winner of national popular vote MORE (Del.), JB Prtizker (Ill.), Gretchen Whitmer (Mich.), Phil Murphy (N.J.), Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico says EPA abandoned state in fight against toxic ‘forever chemicals’ Walmart to stop selling guns in New Mexico New Mexico governor to Nike after Arizona snub: ‘Let’s talk’ MORE (N.M.), Kate Brown (Ore.), Tom Wolf (Penn.), Gina Raimondo (R.I.) and Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeEnthusiasm builds for ‘Blue New Deal’ after climate town hall Democrats, advocates blast reported White House plan to cut refugee cap to zero The Hill’s Campaign Report: North Carolina special election poses test for GOP ahead of 2020 MORE (Wash.).

Gun control has increasingly become a chief rallying cry for Democrats in light of the spate of shootings, with many pointing to Trump and McConnell as the top roadblocks to any gun control legislation.

McConnell has said he would bring legislation to the floor if the president would first affirm his support, though Trump has given mixed signals about which specific measures he’d be willing to back.