Mitch McConnell signals willingness to work with Democrats after Uvalde school shooting but doesn't endorse specific gun safety proposals

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Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Mitch McConnell cracked the door open to working with Democrats on bipartisan gun safety legislation.

  • He said he instructed Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to work with Democrats.

  • McConnell didn't name or endorse any specific gun safety proposals.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his willingness for Republican senators to work with Democrats on a bipartisan push for gun safety legislation in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting, but did not endorse specific approaches for his caucus to take.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, McConnell said he'd "encouraged" Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, to talk to key Democrats "who are interested in trying to get an outcome that's directly related to the problem."

"I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution that's directly related to the facts of this awful massacre," McConnell said.

McConnell's words potentially cracked open the door to compromise on gun safety legislation, an issue on which Republicans have signaled little willingness to collaborate in the decade since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2013.

But McConnell did not specifically mention any policy outcome he wanted Republicans to seek, or identify what he believed  to be the problem at the heart of the Uvalde school shooting.

When asked by CNN whether his comments could include current policy proposals before the Senate — such as expanded background checks, or 'red flag' laws that could temporarily prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from owning a gun — McConnell declined to offer specifics.

"What I've asked Senator Cornyn to do is to meet with the Democrats who are interested in getting a bipartisan solution and come up with a proposal, if possible, that's crafted to meet this particular problem," McConnell said.

The majority leader said he would "keep in touch" with Democrats working on bipartisan gun safety proposals.

"Hopefully, we can get an outcome that can actually pass and become law rather than just scoring points back and forth," McConnell said.

Senate Democrats, led by Chris Murphy of Connecticut, have vowed to make a push for gun safety legislation despite decades of Republican opposition to most proposals.

Democrats' ambitious goal is to woo at least 10 Republican Senators to vote with them on any bill, so as to avoid a filibuster.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said there would be a vote on gun safety legislation regardless of whether they had enough Republican support to pass it.

Read the original article on Business Insider