Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s waiting for details before saying whether he’ll support or oppose a bipartisan group’s response to recent mass shootings.
Grassley says he’s “encouraged” by the progress on the subject so far in Washington. Grassley says, “What I’ve seen going on here in the last couple of weeks in the Congress, with the work of a bipartisan group that the leaders have put together in an effort to make schools safer, make it easier to keep guns away from people that shouldn’t have them.”
Rallies in six Iowa cities last weekend called on Grassley and Iowa’s other Republican Senator, Joni Ernst, to back gun restrictions. Ten Republicans and ten Democrats announced Sunday they’d agreed on a package that includes making criminal records of juveniles available for background checks when a prospective gun buyer is under the age of 21.
“I’m going to have to wait for the statutory language before I would take a position on it, but I’m encouraged by what they’re trying to put together,” Grassley says, “and I think that that’s a good thing and I’m glad to hear from Iowans who want to do it.”
Grassley says he’s looking for two basic principles which he says are musts in the legislation. “One, to protect the constitutional rights that come from the Second Amendment,” Grassley says, “and make sure that anybody that’s deprived of those constitutional rights, that there’s a due process in place to protect their constitutional rights.”
Senator Joni Ernst is also withholding judgment on the package until she reads the text of the legislation. “The devil will be in the details…and making sure that they’re getting to the root causes of the issue of gun violence…and not infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Ernst says. The Des Moines City Council is urging both Grassley and Ernst to support the bill when it comes up for a vote in the Senate.
Iowa’s capital city has the state’s highest murder rate. Nine people have been victims of homicide in Des Moines so far this year.