Grassley says gun control measures ‘on the table’ in bipartisan talks

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley(KCRG)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, says he’s keeping an open mind on gun reform measures in the wake of several recent mass shootings.

Grassley’s comments come after a meeting with actor Matthew McConaughey, a Uvalde, Texas, native, who is calling on Congress to act. The Republican senator didn’t say for certain what’s led him to keep an open mind in his weekly press conference today, but he did confirm he met with Matthew McConaughey in the last few days.

McConaughey has made impassioned pleas to Congress to act. And, after that meeting, Grassley says he hasn’t ruled out any specific gun control measures.

From the White House podium, McConaughey shared stories of the 21 children and teachers killed at an elementary school in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. McConaughey says he’s a gun owner himself, but he says the violence has to stop.

“While we honor and acknowledge the victims we need recognize that this time it seems that something is different. There is a sense that perhaps there is a viable path forward,” said McConaughey.

Grassley says Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is the lead Republican negotiator, has asked him not to lock himself into what measures he would or wouldn’t support.

A report in the New York Times says 35 mass shootings since 1999 could have been altered if four gun control measures had been law. Those measures are: raising the age to buy a rifle, requiring safer gun storage, closing background check loopholes, and banning high-capacity magazines.

“I have not read the report but I’m sure those four proposals are on the table as far as Cornyn and Murphy are concerned. And I’m going to wait and see what they come up with,” said Grassley when asked about those measures and the report.

According to their public statements, the bipartisan group of senators has not released exact details of their proposal. But they do seem to be considering at least one of the measures from the New York Times report: enhanced background checks.

In media appearances, the senators have said they hope to make incremental progress on a bill that has enough votes to become law.

The bipartisan group of senators is working on a separate proposal than the one from President Joe Biden, who has called for more sweeping measures. So far, Biden has stayed clear of the Senate negotiations.

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