James Mackler (TN-Sen), "McConnell needs to DO SOMETHING"

As the number of fatal mass shootings in our country grows, there’s no denying this is an issue that can’t be ignored.

Odessa and Midland, Texas are the latest communities to join so many others across the country that have been struck with grief in the wake of shootings that have taken the lives of neighbors and friends, parents and children.

When families are killed while at the grocery store or children are killed at school, the tragedy is so great that it can feel unspeakable. But we can’t remain silent. We can’t sit by and do nothing.

Gun violence is a solvable issue.

I’m a veteran and a gun owner and I know we can protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We need stronger background checks on all gun sales and close the gun-show loophole. The House passed a bipartisan bill to do so way back in February, but McConnell has refused to call a vote in the Senate. Charles: McConnell is refusing to do his job.

We can’t make progress on anything with McConnell as Senate Majority Leader.
— James Mackler

Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate James Mackler breaks down positions on health care, gun control and more during campaign rally in Franklin

Mackler opened the topic of gun violence solutions by saying that while he was a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, the continued mass shootings were still “such a solvable problem,” citing measures like more extensive background checks.

An audience member asked Mackler why normal citizens need to have assault weapons.

“I don’t feel the need to have an assault weapon,” Mackler said. “As I said, I’m a gun owner, [and] I don’t have an AR-15, I don’t have an [AK-47], I don’t feel that need, so I couldn’t tell you why someone else has [that].”

Another audience member followed up on Mackler’s response, asking him if he would support an assault weapons ban.

“I understand your question, but I don’t have an answer for it,” Mackler responded. “As I sit here today, what I support is thorough background checks for any gun owner, close the gun show loophole… I support the red flag laws. As I stand here today, I don’t support necessarily that plan, but I believe this is a solvable problem, and if we had some research to back up one plan or another, I might change my opinion on that.”

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Chris Rowe (TN-01) Issue Statement

Gun laws need to be reformed, no question. That said, I draw the line very clearly at banning semi-automatic weapons. I will support and push legislation which will actually make a change, including but not limited to: expanding background checks to private sales, required mental health screenings, red flag laws, banning violent criminals and domestic abusers from ownership, and similar measures. We don’t need to be banning more firearms from all people, we need to be banning all firearms from some people.