GOP Sen. Mike Rounds suggests schools should use solar panel funding to beef up security since Congress has 'gone about as far as we're going to with gun control'
Sen. Mike Rounds told CNN that Congress has gone "about as far as we're going to with gun control."
He suggested that instead of gun reform, schools use funds set aside for solar panels to pay for more security.
Three students and three adults were killed in the nation's latest school shooting in Nashville on Monday.
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota suggested that schools should use funding set aside for green energy upgrades to pay for more security since Congress has "gone about as far as we're going to with gun control."
During an appearance on CNN's "This Morning," co-anchor Kaitlan Collins asked Rounds about whether Congress could take up any legislative action in the wake of the mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, which left three students and three adults dead on Monday.
"I look at my colleagues up here and there isn't anybody here that if they could find the right approach wouldn't try to do something," Rounds said.
He then added, "And yet, when we start talking about bans or challenging on the second amendment, I think the things that have already been done have gone about as far as we're going to with gun control."
Rounds then explained to CNN that instead of gun control, he'd like to take a portion of $500 million funding that's already been designated to build new solar panels at the nation's schools and re-allocate it for schools to beef up their security.
"I'm not prepared to start talking about implementing more [legislation] when we know, right now, that we could be making our schools safer than what they are today if they had the resources to do so," he said.
—Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 29, 2023
Collins remarked that it was "pretty stark" that Rounds didn't think any additional gun reform legislation could be passed through Congress before noting that the conservative lawmaker voted against the bipartisan gun safety bill that was championed and signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.
The new law appropriated millions of dollars for mental health services, school security, and crisis intervention programs. It also provided $750 million in federal money for individual states to put into place red flag laws, which permit law enforcement to temporarily restrict gun access to individuals who are at an elevated risk to hurt themselves or others.
When Rounds was asked if he still stood by his "no" vote on the bipartisan gun safety bill, the lawmaker didn't shift his position.
"Let's find out exactly what does happen with regard to mental health, and do you have the appropriate safeguards to protect individuals who are being accused of not being able to get a weapon," he said. "That particular piece of legislation has not even been implemented yet to a full extent."
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