Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), a former presidential candidate, told MSNBC Thursday that the NRA's policies "arm school shooters."
When Swalwell was asked whether any gun legislation could make it past Senate majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Senate Republicans, he said Democrats must get through Republicans to enact gun control.
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"I'm afraid we can't count on the president or Mitch McConnell, both who have continued to side with the NRA, an organization who continues to arm school shooters with their policies," he said.
He went on to say gun control activists need to pressure vulnerable Republican senators to bring McConnell to the negotiating table.
"We have to just continue to make progress at the ballot box and count on the moms and the students and organizations to march on Washington and get legislators like Cory Gardner and Susan Collins and Martha McSally, who are up for reelection, to put pressure on their own majority leader, otherwise we won't see action," Swalwell said.
Swalwell argued a majority of Americans want an assault weapons ban, specifically one in which the law does not "grandfather in" some weapons but rather takes them "off the street now."
"I also really want to challenge my colleagues to see an opportunity here: The NRA is on the ropes. The public is behind us in a big way. Sixty-two percent want an assault weapons ban. And when they say ‘ban,' they don't mean a future ban, meaning banning future manufacturing and sales and leaving 15 million assault weapons in our community. They expect you're going to ban and get those weapons off the street now," he said.
In 2018, Swalwell, suggested the government could deploy nuclear weapons against Americans who resisted gun confiscation. He tweeted, "it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them."
In Swalwell's campaign thank-you letter, he said he entered the race "determined to elevate the issue of gun violence" with a plan "to ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America."
On July 8, Swalwell dropped out of the presidential race a week after the first Democratic debate. Swalwell's campaign never polled at even 1 percent among likely voters.