WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – This weekend marks one year since the deadly shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The gunman is accused of killing 11 people. In the past year, Democrats and Republicans have tried and failed to pass legislation to slow the pace of mass shootings in America.
“It’s a reminder of one of the most horrific tragedies in Pennsylvania’s recent history,” said Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
Sen. Toomey said he has not given up on his efforts to expand background checks for gun buyers.
“That would make it more difficult for people who have no right to buy a firearm to buy a firearm. That’s violent criminals and the dangerous and mentally ill,” said Toomey.
Despite bi-partisan support, Senator Toomey’s bill has been stuck in legislative limbo. Toomey said he remains optimistic that he’ll eventually gain support from Congress and the White House.
Earlier this week, other Republicans, including Senator John Cornyn, introduced their own plan to expand access to mental health care and crack down on unlicensed gun dealers.
“Unless you can get the votes and build consensus and get the president’s signature on it, then it’s really an exercise in futility,” said Cornyn.
But when asked about where he stands on reducing gun violence on Friday, President Trump blamed Democrats for stalled talks.
“The do nothing Democrats have no time to do it,” said President Trump.
President Trump pointed the finger at the impeachment inquiry sayings it’s distracting lawmakers from getting any bills passed. Toomey agrees impeachment talks have polarized Congress and the nation.
“But that’s not a reason to give up,” Toomey said.
Toomey said he’s committed to take action to prevent future mass shootings.