A bill that would require background checks on all firearm sales in the country passed the House in February with bipartisan support — and subsequently stalled in the Senate. Currently, only licensed gun dealers must perform background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm, but most unlicensed sellers do not.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and New York Republican Rep. Peter King held a press conference Tuesday calling on McConnell to reconvene to pass that background check bill.
Reconvening during the August recess — or scrapping it altogether — is not unprecedented. Just last year, in 2018, McConnell canceled the August recess, and three weeks of built-in vacation, saying that the Senate still had work to do to pass government funding bills and approve President Donald Trump’s nominees to various positions.
But it’s not likely the Senate will come back to session to vote on this background check bill.
A source close to McConnell said the majority leader is serious about a process on gun legislation — and it should be bipartisan and bicameral (meaning both parties and both the Senate and House are involved in the discussion).
The source said that Democrats are acting as though McConnell won’t allow a process and “I think they are dead wrong.”
But there are no current indications that McConnell plans to move on the already House-passed background check bill.
The Point: Certainly there are louder calls for the Senate — and Congress as a whole — to act on legislation around guns. But it’s unlikely it’ll happen during the August recess.