Blunt expresses open minded approach to gun issues

August 15, 2019 - 6:57 am
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Universal background checks for gun purchases may be on the table when the U.S. Senate returns from the August recess, and Missouri's Roy Blunt appears to be keeping an open mind on the issue. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to consider ideas that could change the way firearms are sold. Now, private sales are legal with no background checks required, but for licensed gun dealers, they are mandatory. Blunt indicated he could support the checks, with restrictions.

"I think we're going to have to look at ways to where you could still sell your neighbor's grandson your old shotgun, if you wanted to, without having a background check," Blunt said.

Blunt gave a qualified signal that he may consider supporting red flag laws that would allow authorities to temporarily seize weapons from people who show signs of instability or violent intent. The senator wants to focus on the role mental health plays in gun crimes, though he said a person with mental health issues is much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator.

"That doesn't mean that that mental health discussion shouldn't be discussed, or that states shouldn't have the ability to look at red flag laws," Blunt said.

Last month Blunt introduced the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Act, which would direct the U.S. Treasury to mint a coin to recognize 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues. Blunt was in Kansas City Wednesday to tour the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

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