South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says that the U.S. needs less cheerleading from President Barack Obama on gun control and better enforcement of current laws on background checks.
“I do wish the cheerleading would stop and the prosecutions begin,” the Republican lawmaker said on Wednesday at a Capitol Hill press conference. “Mr. President, no more speeches about expanding gun laws and start enforcing the ones we have.”
Obama spent a portion of his State of the Union address on Tuesday discussing gun control and the victims of recent gun violence, including the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
“It’s been two months since Newtown,” Obama said. “I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”
Graham said he intends to introduce a bill that will instead better enforce current law on background checks, although he was vague on the details.
He cited 80,000 instant background check denials in 2012, of which only 44 were prosecuted.
“Clearly the current system, before it gets expanded, needs to be reformed,” he said.
He highlighted the case of Alice Boland, who was indicted for making threats against President Bush in 2005. The case was dismissed by reason of insanity.
However, in 2013 she purchased a pistol from a gun store in South Carolina after passing a background check, and later attempted to fire at the staff of a private school. The gun was not loaded and did not fire. She has been charged with attempted murder.
Graham said his proposed bill would “fix the system so that the Alice Bolands of the future do not pass background checks.”
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