Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has a simple piece of advice Senate Republicans negotiating gun reform legislation with their Democratic colleagues:
Walk away now.
While appearing Friday on "The Chris Salcedo Show," Schmitt offered biting criticism of the Senate Republicans' political plans — at least those who are seemingly acceding to the Democrats' wishes — by saying that Republicans ''shouldn't be engaging in these talks at all. The Democrats have one answer to every [crisis] situation, and it's gun control."
Schmitt, who is running for U.S. Senate against several other candidates in Missouri's GOP primary on Aug. 2, expanded on his initial answer to Newsmax guest host Benny Johnson.
"Republicans shouldn't do this gun-grabbing dance with the Democrats. Walk away from the table. Walk away now. Red-flag laws are simply a green light for gun confiscation, and it violates two fundamental rights," Schmitt said.
The constitutional rights potentially being violated, from Schmitt's perspective:
(1) Second Amendment rights.
(2) A U.S. citizen's right to due process.
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., led a press conference on gun reform talks, and acknowledged a possible framework deal between Republican and Democratic senators.
The six reported components include:
- State crisis intervention orders.
- School safety resources.
- Mental health and suicide prevention programs.
- Enhanced review process for gun buyers aged 20 and younger.
- Red-flag provisions.
- Penalties for straw purchasing (when Person A buys a gun with the intent of letting Person B be the gun's primary user).
On Thursday, however, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who's been tasked with leading the gun reform talks, said the Democrats were almost "out of rope" in their negotiations with Senate Republicans, due to time constraints and policy disagreements.
As a starting point, Schmitt believes that McConnell, Cornyn and other Senate Republicans should have never engaged in gun reform discussions.
But he is pleased that the GOP leaders are giving this matter a long second thought.
In other words, from Schmitt's viewpoint, Senate Republicans still have time to save face with GOP voters — by not yielding an inch to the Democrats.
"I think [the American people] are pushing back, and that's probably why many [Republican senators] are hearing from their constituents. ... Again, these red-flag laws are a huge mistake," Schmitt said.
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