Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted Democratic efforts to pass new gun-control bills on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday—particularly legislation that expands background checks.
“The current system is broken,” he said. “Why in the world would you expand that system if you’re not enforcing the law that exists today to include private transfers? So I think that legislation is going nowhere, but I’d like to have a robust debate about improving the system.”
As an example of how the system is broken, Graham explained, “There are 76,000 people last year who that failed a background check and less than 1 percent got prosecuted.” He continued: “There are 9,000 people in 2010 failed a background check who were felons on the run and none of them were prosecuted.” So before efforts are made to expand background checks to include private individuals, resources need to be directed at fixing the current system, he argued.
Even still, Graham said nothing being discussed would have prevented the Sandy Hook massacre: “The guy did not fail a background check.”
Graham also said he would not join the five Senate Republicans who pledged to filibuster any legislation that infringes on the Second Amendment. “The only way I would filibuster a bill is if Sen. Reid did not allow alternative amendments.”
Senate Dems have switched their focus to background checks since bans on semi-automatic weapons are out of the picture:
New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he once called background checks the sweet spot “because it would do a whole lot of good and have a good chance of passing.”
“I’m working very hard with both Democrats and Republicans, pro-(National Rifle Association) and anti-NRA people, to come up with a background check that will be acceptable to 60 senators and be very strong and get the job done,” he said. “It’s very hard and we’re working hard and I’m very hopeful that we can get this passed.”
Reid is expected to bring legislation to the floor next month.