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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gun Policy: Roy Blunt Open to Background Checks, Says "Bans on Things" Don't Work

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Senator Roy Blunt on Fox News. Full video below.
  • Senator Roy Blunt on Fox News. Full video below.

Questioned about gun control this weekend, Republican Senator Roy Blunt said that there have been "bans on things" for a long time in this country that don't "make any difference at all" -- but he's not entirely opposed to better background check systems for gun sales.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, full video below, Blunt says, "I think we ought to talk about that," in reference to the role of background checks in the increasingly heated gun debate across the country.

Blunt's comments come on the heels of lawmakers in Missouri proposing a bill that would effectively override any federal orders to regulate firearms.

Here's the full interview with Chris Wallace, with comments on gun control beginning at the 6:20 mark.

"Let's see what they come up with in terms of specific proposals," Blunt says about possible universal background checks. "Certainly at Newtown, you know, what an incredible tragedy for every family involved, for that community... It was a terrible thing that those families frankly will never recover from, but let's talk about changes that would've done something about that. So far, I don't see that."

Speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, Blunt adds, "He had mental problems and he had a history of problems with securirty officials.... But how do we share that information better? Let's do things that will make a difference here rather than take one more opportunity to go at an old agenda."

He continues, "We had bans on things for a decade that didn't seem to make any difference at all, but during that same decade, our willingness to share information about mental problems, our willingness to share information between security officials and police officials all declined."

Asked again about background checks and screening potential gun owners, he says, "I think we ought to talk about that."

In terms of closing loopholes, Blunt says, "Gun owners are generally for that, but you've gotta have a proposal that works -- that doesn't create the problem of people not able to have the firearms that they'd like to have. The Second Amendment is there and is part of the Constitution and you can't just decide you want to avoid the Constitution because you've come up with some reason the Constitution no longer works."

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at

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