Dem Sen. Cardin says ‘jury’s out’ on whether Senate can pass gun reform after Uvalde

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Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said "the jury’s out" on whether Senate Democrats can get enough Republican support to pass gun reform legislation after last week’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Cardin was asked by Fox News anchor Sandra Smith whether Democrats can get the ten Republican senators needed to overcome a filibuster on gun legislation that Democrats have been calling for since 18-year-old Salvador Ramos allegedly gunned down 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., speaks during a hearing with the Helsinki Commission in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. <span class="copyright">Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images</span>
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., speaks during a hearing with the Helsinki Commission in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on March 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

"Well, the jury's out on that," Cardin responded. "We've tried on so many different issues and have not been successful even to start debate, whether we deal with gun safety issues or we deal with immigration or we deal even with small business. We've not been able to get 10 senators to allow us to even start debate. So we're going to have to wait to see. I think the urgency is there."

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"I really do think that there is a real urgency that we can show that we can act," he continued. "I’m confident if we can get a bill on the floor on the gun issues and can pass it, it will be the right signal to the American people. It probably won't go as far as I would like to see us go, but it will at least show that Congress can act."

Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the Dialogue on the Future of Atlantic Trade event at the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Monday, March 21, 2022. <span class="copyright">Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images</span>
Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the Dialogue on the Future of Atlantic Trade event at the Port of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Monday, March 21, 2022. Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats have been pushing for gun reform legislation since the shooting, ranging from red flag laws, to universal background checks, to a so-called assault weapons ban.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told CNN last week that he has called on Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to participate in bipartisan talks to come up with a possible proposal.

Cardin said Sunday that any legislation will save "some lives," even if it wouldn’t have prevented the Uvalde shooting specifically.

"I think we could do some things that will save lives," Cardin said. "I think the red flag [laws], the background checks, these issues will save some lives. I'd like to go further than that. Investing in mental health is good also. But military style weapons, I think getting them off the street would be very helpful in saving lives. Will it save all lives? No, but America is an outlier in gun violence. We're in a class by ourselves. We have to ask why. And one of the reasons is the fact that it's so easy to get these military style weapons, particularly an 18-year-old being able to buy that type of weapon[.]""

"This is an issue that the American public expects us to act. Enough is enough," he added. "Congress needs to act. It needs to take action that can help avoid these types of tragedies."