The gun control legislation that the Senate will discuss could not have prevented December’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., said Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America.
“This is a bad bill that’s about political optics, not about solving the problems. Our goal is to stop it,” he said Friday morning on the Daily Rundown.
On Thursday, the Senate gained the 60 votes needed to kick off the debate on gun control legislation authored by Democrats, despite a group of Republicans who had threatened a filibuster. The deal between West Virginian Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is a compromise that expands gun background checks.
The bill is a “good example” of everything that is wrong in Washington, Needham told host Chuck Todd during the interview. While the compromise doesn’t include universal background checks, it does expand background checks to cover gun shows and online sales of firearms. Failure to comply would be classified as a felony.
“We have gun laws on the books that we need to be enforcing, and we have separate problems which are about school safety, which are about mental illness, that we need to address,” he said.
Heritage Action for America is a conservative policy advocacy organization that has been vocal in its opposition to gun control legislation. The group’s website contains a page with the headline: “ ‘No’ on Senate Gun Bill.”
There are 31 Republicans who have voiced their opposition to the bill. Sixteen of them are from red states.
“Members of the House and Senate,” Needham said, “should do everything they can to stop this.”