Sen. Joni Ernst on Gun Control: ‘We should not be taking away rights’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst voted along party lines Monday on four gun-control measures.

The votes came just eight days after a mass shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub.

Iowa’s Republican Senators rejected two proposals from Democrats and supported two from Republicans, which included a Grassley-sponsored amendment that would have increased money for the background check system.

Joni Ernst joined Dave Price on the Channel 13 News at Four for a live interview on guns and the fight against terrorism.

Monday’s votes

The Senate rejected first a Republican proposal to update the background check system for gun purchases, which would have required states to add more information on mental health records to a national database. It also included a provision to alert law enforcement agencies when an individual who was on a government terror watch list in the last five years buys a gun.

The proposal, sponsored by Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, failed to get the 60 votes for passage. The vote was 53-47, largely along party lines. Some Senate Democrats warned that the legislation's revised definition of who would be considered mentally ill could potentially still allow those with significant psychological issues to legally purchase guns.

A second proposal to expand the background check system for those buying guns to require checks at gun shows and for online purchases went down 44-56. Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who launched a nearly 15-hour filibuster last week to press for new gun restrictions after the Orlando massacre where 49 people were killed, sponsored the proposal.

A Republican proposal to delay gun sales to individuals included on a government terror watch list failed in a mostly party-line vote of 53-47. The measure was sponsored by Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn. The bill would allow a judge to permanently block a purchase if the court determined probable cause that the individual is involved in terrorist activity.

And a Democratic option that sought to bar all gun sales to those individuals on the terror watch list failed 47-53, the second time the proposal went down to defeat after a mass shooting. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein originally pushed the proposal in December after a shooting in San Bernardino and revived it after the horrific Orlando nightclub shooting by a gunman who pledged allegiance to the terror group ISIS.

Monday’s votes occurred just over a week after the June 12 attack on a gay nightclub. The 49 victims make it the largest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.