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In Hours After Vegas Shooting, Democrats Focus on Gun Legislation

Democratic leaders across the country are calling for new gun legislation, following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Sen. Chris Murphy

In the 48 hours after a gunman perched in a Las Vegas hotel shot at hundreds of concert-goers, killing at least 59, Democrats in Congress are calling for new gun legislation.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who represents Newtown, Connecticut – the home of Sandy Hook Elementary School, targeted by a gunman who killed 26 in December 2012 – said on Monday he is “planning to introduce legislation to strengthen background checks on gun purchases.”

The senator openly acknowledged that stricter background checks might not have flagged the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, who cleared all requirements when he purchased a shotgun at a Utah shop, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

But “we can’t get caught in the trap of only advocating legislation that addressed yesterday’s shooting,” Murphy told reporters at the Capitol on Monday. “The fact is, 80 other people died from guns yesterday and stronger background checks laws should’ve saved many of them.”

Murphy, cited as a possible presidential candidate for Democrats in 2020, was not the only presidential contender calling for gun legislation in Congress. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) all called for some form of action, according to NBC News.

And at least one activist, Maria-Teresa Liebermann of Battle Born Progress in Nevada, said she will scrutinize Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who represents Las Vegas, over his record on guns.

President Trump sounded more cautious on Tuesday morning, telling reporters outside the White House, “We’ll be talking about gun laws” after the shooting.

Trump is on his way to Puerto Rico to survey storm damage from Hurricane Maria.