WASHINGTON — Gun control may be the hot topic on the Hill after a gunman killed 12 people Monday at the nearby Navy Yard, but there is not likely to be new legislation on the issue any time soon.
“We don’t have the votes,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a press conference Tuesday, asked if this latest shooting might renew serious legislative action regarding gun control.
Efforts have petered out since April, when the Senate failed to pass a compromise bill to institute background checks for gun buyers, in spite of commitments from Reid and other advocates not to give up.
“We’re going to move this up as quickly as we can, but we’ve got to have the votes first,” Reid said. “We don’t have the votes. I hope to get them, but we don’t have them now.”
Reid indicated that he might be willing to pass legislation that focused more narrowly on the mental illness component.
“Anything we can do to focus attention on these senseless killings that take place,” he said.