Senate Democrats are gearing up to introduce new gun control legislation Thursday in the wake of the deadly Oregon school shooting that left eight students and a teacher dead. The announcement came from Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader, who told reporters that he met with colleagues Tuesday to push for tightened gun laws.
"We've had a number of meetings today with Democratic senators," Reid told reporters. "So we're going to move forward. We have a program. We're going to do some press on this on Thursday."
Reid declined to disclose details about the proposal. "We're going to make sure this is inclusive, that all my caucus is involved in this, and we're not going to outline stuff here today," he said.
The plan follows Reid's characterization of Republicans as "puppets" of the National Rifle Association Monday while speaking on the Senate floor.
"I've started to reach out to senators in talking about what can be done to advance the cause of background checks while Republicans are in charge for the next year or so," Reid said Monday. "One thing is clear -- to pass background checks, we need Republicans to stop acting as puppets of the NRA."
Republican Majority Leader John Cornyn took aim at the Democrat's comments, saying that proposals need to look at the link between mental health and gun violence.
“We’ll see whether the people who have no solution, who just want to keep talking about guns, are willing to meet us halfway,” Cornyn said. “If somebody’s got a better idea, great. But if they’re just going to rail about guns and violence without offering solutions, that’s not good enough.”
Other Democratic politicians have called for stricter gun control laws since the Umpqua Community College shooting. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated Monday that she would expand background checks at gun shows and ban domestic abusers from purchasing guns. She also said that she would eradicate legislation protecting gun makers and dealers from being sued by shooting victims, the BBC reported.
"We need to prevent these kinds of terrible crimes that are happening," she said.