WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Republican leaders to bring the debate over gun violence to the floor of the U.S. Senate.

“97% of the American people believe in universal comprehensive background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who would misuse them: convicted felons, mentally unstable people,” Durbin said. “97%. The overwhelming majority of gun owners feel exactly the same way. So why—why in God’s name have we not taken that up since the tragedy in Florida and the tragedy in Texas? There is no explanation for it, other than fear. Fear of the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby. That is the only explanation.”

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Research indicates that as many as a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check even though 97% of Americans support comprehensive background checks, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

Durbin continued, “About two weeks ago, my little granddaughter came home from first grade and said to her mom, ‘Mom, they told us at school that if there is a shooter outside the school, stay away from the windows, and if a shooter comes in the classroom, get on the floor.’ First grade. Is there any sane person in America who thinks that that should be normal talk in the first grade classroom? Is there any person, constitutional scholar or not, who believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was designed to allow this to happen?”

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