Senate Republicans blocked Democrats from passing a pair of gun control bills on Wednesday (December 7). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asked for unanimous consent to pass a bill that would ban semiautomatic rifles with pistol or forward grips, folding or telescoping stocks, barrel shrouds, and noise or flash suppressors.
"The scourge of gun violence in America is a national crisis. The American people are sick and tired of enduring one mass shooting after another. They're sick and tired of vigil and moments of silence for family, friends, classmates, coworkers," Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming objected to the motion for unanimous consent, arguing that the bill violates Americans' Second Amendment rights.
"Americans have a constitutional right to own a firearm. Every day, people across Wyoming responsibly use their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms," he said. "Democrats are demanding that the American people give up their liberty."
"The Second Amendment is freedom's essential safeguard. Without it, there can be no liberty, and there can be no security. So, Mr. President, I object," Barrasso added.
Later in the session, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked for unanimous consent to pass a bill requiring universal background checks on all gun purchases.
Utah Senator Mike Lee objected to the motion.
"This is not solely about transactions involving guns at gun stores. This is about the father who wishes to pass down a hunting rifle to his son or the friend who wants to lend a shotgun to his neighbor who is in need of protection at the time," Lee said.