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Hello again and happy Easter from Fox News in Washington.
Well after months of debate the senate is finally ready to vote on new gun control -- -- -- One of the people of the center of the issue is mark Kelly retired astronaut and navy captain.
And the husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot two years ago.
-- Kelly joins us from Tucson Arizona.
Captain afternoon town there was national outrage over these acts of mass violence but that has begun to change.
CBS has a new poll just after the massacre of 57%.
Supported stricter gun controls now that's down the -- -- -- present.
And senate majority leader Harry Reid says the bill he'll introduce the week after next.
Won't include a ban on assault weapons and won't include a limit on high capacity magazines.
Question should President Obama have moved faster to bring this to a vote before -- call for action.
Well I think after something like you know twenty.
First graders be murdered in their classrooms.
You don't -- it it is important to take action.
And the American people are demanding action now into the timeline of that.
You know sometimes and and especially with a polarized.
Congress these things can take a long time.
But it's clear and you say that.
You know there's less support I wanna address that for a second.
We use words like gun control you know gun control -- -- poll very well.
But we do know that over 90% of -- of of Americans support a universal background check.
And there is incredible momentum in congress and around the nation to get this done.
Well you say incredible -- -- five Republicans senators say that they are going to filibuster.
Any additional gun restrictions you can we have them up on the screen what do you say for instance to Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
Well first I would say to Marco Rubio that 94%.
Of his consists constituents.
Supporting universal background check.
For senator Rand Paul it's about 83% in Kentucky.
So they should listen dear to their constituents.
Shouldn't be getting in the way of the process which is to debate the bill and to vote on the bill I mean that doesn't make any sense.
And I imagine that at some point if they actually do this that their constituents will hold them accountable for those actions.
Why do you think there is in the polls I mean they're a couple of things going on here one we see the polls perimeter support to we see.
Harry Reid who is you know the senate majority leader and he is not even going to include.
-- the high capacity magazines or the assault weapons ban in the bell they'll be a vote on amendments that they're not part of the bill he says in the assault weapons ban it wouldn't get.
Forty votes let -- sixty what's going on.
Well certainly there you know in this country we have a very powerful gun lobby.
And the leadership of the NRA has done a very good job over many many years.
Of controlling the debate on this issue.
But one thing that is different now is the fact that we had 21 graders murdered -- a classroom.
Along with six educators.
I mean that's unacceptable and the American people.
You don't want something done on this you know 92% of Americans support -- universal background check it's 74%.
NRA members I would hope at some point that the leadership of the NRA would just listen to their membership on this issue.
We're gonna get to the background check and a second one last question about the senate because Republicans say they are going to offer.
And alternative bill that would crack down on gun profit -- And would be thought.
School safety it would not include the background -- -- an assault weapons -- what do you think of what's called the Grassley alternative.
Well you know I think it's a mistake I think any bill that does not include a universal background check.
Is a mistake it's the most common sense it's.
Thing that we can do to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to weapons in the system that we have right now.
We have 40% of all Americans who buy a gun buy -- without a background check.
And that's probably where most of the criminals in the middle -- going.
I mean we know from poll that has been done with with criminals in -- that over 80% of them get them through that loophole.
So it would be a mistake not to address the the thing that 1982%.
Of American household support in 74% of NRA members support which is -- universal background check.
All right well let's let's pick up on out because the main feature of what is going to be in the senate -- what you are pushing and are pushing today is the universal background check this week.
You went are rather recently a few weeks ago you went to -- a gun store in the Arizona area and bought a 45 caliber handgun.
And afterwards he discussed the background check you had to go through.
-- your wife -- let's take a look.
It was very easy to do just like five -- over.
Students who didn't -- make sure everybody should get affect pension plan.
To make sure that criminals.
And the mentally okay.
University background checks.
Captain Kelly what do you think.
Well he you know we went in -- my executive director and Harris executives -- director of our organization.
And in five minutes and 36 seconds is that time to talk to fill out one piece of paper you only if the fill out one -- And -- to be submitted to the nationalistic criminal background check system and get an answer.
Five minutes and 36 seconds so what it shows you is that it is not the burden.
That the NRA leadership says.
What a background check -- I mean it's a simple common sense thing we can do to make sure the criminals and the mentally ill can have access to firearms.
Well let let's talk about -- because in in -- is tragic case the shooter Jared Loughner.
Had been suspended from college because he was deemed to be.
And at a threat to himself and others.
He went to a -- store and he got a I've gone gone past the background track.
And yet he was able -- a course to go out and shoot county and eighteen other people.
And the NR -- -- the problem.
The problem with a background -- is that the kind of mental health information.
-- and Loughner is based doesn't get passed on so it doesn't get to be part of the background.
Well it doesn't get passed on and in a lot of cases you know you know nineteen states have included less than a hundred records.
On mental illness into the into the next into the national instant criminal background check system in the case of the shooter in Tucson.
The information on his mental illness the -- and they get expelled.
From that from community college that should have been in the system.
His admitted drug used to the US army who rejected him that should have been in the system so he should have if we had.
You know a system if we improve the system he would have been rejected.
From buying the gun in -- gun store now the other problem is there's the other -- -- right there's the there's the records loophole but there's a loophole that would allow him to go.
To a gun show or on the Internet but a -- -- and we need to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from doing that it's crazy that we have a system.
You know we have this system that responsible gun owners get a background check.
And the option to avoid one is available for anybody who doesn't want to do it I mean if we're.
If it's a crazy system a -- -- and -- right have a point if you're gonna expand the background check and cover more people.
Don't you have to make sure that that mental health information gets into the system because otherwise it's kind of a waste of time.
They absolutely have a point.
I mean they are they are right on that issue -- we need to encourage states to include the mental health records.
After Virginia Tech for instance Virginia was one of the worst states on this and after what happened in Virginia -- they're actually really really good about getting those records to the federal government.
So I'm encouraging I mean I would love to be able to work with the leadership of the NRA.
And work with the United States senate and the house to make sure we get those records in the system.
And then close the gun show and private seller loophole like 92% of Americans want.
Of NRA members -- The big holdup -- in the senate now over the background -- is that if you do expanded to include gun shows and private sales.
Do the people who sell the guns in those cases have to keep -- records keep records.
Of those sales -- and as you well know the on our race as.
The danger is that if they have to do what licensed dealers have to do and keep those records that could be used to form a national registry and somewhere down the line that could -- is.
To confiscate people's guns how do you respond.
-- -- I just don't think it's logical I mean right now when you buy a gun in a gun store like I did.
You know there is a record that remains with the gun store it's not a record with the federal government.
It's not a record that's gonna go to one day lead to a national registry or gun confiscation.
So the system currently works with the federally licensed firearms dealers there is no reason that same system cannot work with the gun show and the private seller.
But of course this is an issue for many you know for some Republican senators and it's certainly something.
That can be worked on I mean we've got a lot of Smart members in the senate and I think they can figure out a compromise on this issue.
Finally Arizona officials this week released a lot of records about the shooter Jared Loughner.
The man who shot -- and eighteen others his parents.
It turns out knew he was deeply disturbed they tested him for drugs but they did not send him to -- how what do you.
After -- after learning all of this.
To Jared Loughner is Paris.
Well certainly as a parent myself you know I understand I mean it is a tragic thing.
That they went through as well.
It would have been an entirely different situation however if he would have gotten some mental health you know gotten a valuation.
And when he you know certainly in his case when he is taking medication.
He is not as psychotic as without the medication so this would have clearly -- would not have happened if he -- had proper mental health treatment you know but you can't.
You know you can't go back in time I mean -- you know the only thing we can do is move move forward.
And try to make sure that.
The dangerously mentally ill.
-- an -- not only getting treatment for their mental moments but let's make sure that they don't have access to guns let's make sure criminals don't have access to guns.
I mean our organization.
Americans for responsible solutions I mean we are really focused on this.
Every single day.
To make sure we fix this problem and we addressed gun violence in this.
I just want to pick up on that last point because after new town -- was a lot of talk about.
Making it easier for authorities.
A school or -- -- as a family to -- -- I Jared Loughner and -- lands of the new towns shooter.
And before they got access to guns and acted out in this horrible white but.
That seems to have been forgotten in all this debate about gun control.
Well I don't know if it's.
If it's been forgotten I mean certainly we you know would be if the debate in the senate is -- is going to include some aspect of help for the mentally ill.
Now what that is.
You know I'm not eat eat eat you know I don't know what those details how how that's gonna turn out.
But that is certainly a very important component of this I mean to address mental illness in this country.
To get those records of mental illness into the system and then to make sure.
That there is in a loophole where -- clearly dangerously mentally ill and criminals can get access to what -- Captain Kelly we want to thank you thank you for joining us and we want to wish you and your wife -- made the very bouncer.
Thank you and and happy Easter crafts -- Padilla.
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