Meet the Press   |  April 14, 2013

Gun control legislation: Will it stall?

Sens. Mike Lee and Kirsten Gillibrand discuss the future of gun control reform and whether it will continue to make progress on Capitol Hill.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the gun debate this weekend. ""saturday night live"" had a pretty pointed, with a laugh, criticism at the what is being debated about the background checks . here is a portion of their open last night.

>> good evening. my fellow americans , as you know over the past few months i have made gun control legislation a top priority for my administration. which is why i am so excited to announce that this week the senate voted 68-31 to begin debating the idea of discussing gun control . let me say that again. they've agreed to think about talking about gun control . amazing.

>> senator gillibrand, isn't that really the problem? despite all the emotion, despite the public opinion polls, not a lot is about to be accomplished here.

>> i disagree. i think moving forward on this debate is so important because we have republicans who say this is important for the country. and we have gun reform legislation that is bipartisan already. we have a back ground check bill that is not bipartisan. we have an anti-straw purchaser bill that i helped to write that is bipartisan. we have a lot of bipartisan support on mental health assessment. we have a very good start on beginning to crack down on gun crime . and the bottom line is, the families of newtown, the families all across america who lose children every single day to gun violence deserve a vote, an answer, leadership. that is what is happening.

>> it appears they'll get that, senator lee. do you think what is called manch manchin/toomey here in washington to an expanded background check bill will pass the senate?

>> it remains to be seen whether l it will pass the senate. it wasn't introduced until after we had voted to proceed to the bill. following the tragedy at sandy hook , americans have been rightfully focused on how to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. but, unfortunately, the proposals we've seen would seem to limit the rights of law abiding citizens while doing little, if anything, to tally prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. so toomey/manchin does have some carveouts. today's carveouts are tomorrow's loopholes and that's of concern to us us this bill, i believe, would do more to limit the rights of the lay law abiding than to prevent violent crime and that's why i can't support it.

>> can i disagree? there is so much in these bills that have nothing to do with law abiding citizens. they specifically work with criminals. my bill in new york state 85% of the weapons used in crimes come from out of state and 90% are illegal. you're talking nine out of tenuoused in crime are being trafficked by straw purchasers with the intent on selling them directly to gangs and, david, there's 30 people who die every single day because of gun violence . we have to answer the pleas of their parents and the communities that are suffering.

>> i want to get everyone involved here. this is a tough vote from members of your own party, for fellow senators. even you as a congresswoman from upstate new york talked about guns much differently and the power of the gun lobby in 2008 in your campaign website. it had this. congresswoman jill grand grew up in a family of hunters and supports the rights. she's been an ardent opponent of legislation that will curb the second amendment. you were touting that back in 2008 as a congresswoman from a more conservative area. this is tough for democrats.

>> that's why i know this bill will work and this compromise will work. it is making sure that you protect second amendment rights, not undermining second amendment rights by saying cripple mals have to go through a background check before they can buy that weapon or straw purchasers and traffickers can't.

>> the nra does not agree.

>> it is not about the nra . this is about families. it's about america . 70% of nra members like the background check bill, like the straw purchase bill. they even the foot the assault weapons ban . when you talk about people, america , and what americans want, americans want these reforms. we just saw that mother who lost their child. you cannot do nothing in the face of that tragedy.