Mitch McConnell Puts “Assault Weapons” Ban, Red Flag Gun Control on the Table

Democrats are ramping up one of their most concentrated pushes for gun control yet, and from the looks of it, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might be unwilling to stand in their way.

The Kentucky Republican refused to rule out a possibility of the Senate exploring an “assault weapons” ban or red flag gun confiscation laws.

McConnell also said there was “a lot of support” for background check measures advanced by Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Nearly all gun sales from retailers to customers already involve a NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) background check. Toomey’s legislation would extend the check to sales between private individuals, involving weapons which have very rarely if not never used in criminal acts or mass shootings.

The Senate Majority Leader said that laws regulating so-called assault weapons were “one of the front and center issues,” speaking to WHAS 840 in Louisville. “But what we can’t do is fail to pass something. What I want to see here is an outcome, not a bunch of partisan back and forths, shots across the bow.

Presumably, the “assault weapons” ban alluded to by McConnell would ban some of the most commonly owned and used civilian firearms in America. There are tens of millions of AR-15-style rifles in the hands of Americans, and an assault weapons ban would ban the further sales of such commonly owned firearms, or even seize them from their current owners, should the more dramatic gun control advocates get their way.

McConnell is thought of as a “master tactician” by some Republicans, and it may be possible his refusal to solidly rule out an assault weapons ban is a trick intended to give Democrats a false sense of security. But the Second Amendment community the Senate Majority Leader has pledged to support is understandably less than thrilled with the Senator’s ambiguity on gun control.