‘Our system is broken’: Rep. Ritchie Torres talks gun control debate

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NEW YORK — There have been 114 mass shootings in the U.S. in the first three months of 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive. 

Two of the most recent ones in Atlanta and Colorado claimed 18 lives in total. 

President Joe Biden said he is optimistic that a reasonable gun control bill can make it through the Senate to curb gun violence. 

Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY), who led the charge for a gun offender registry in New York, is now fighting for tougher gun control on Capitol Hill. 

Every time there is a mass shooting, the country says it will move forward in gun control. Will it be different this time around?

“I can only hope,” the congressman representing the Bronx told PIX11 News Monday.

Torres said the “greatest stumbling block” on the path to progress is the filibuster.

“One U.S. Senator has the power to filibuster public safety for 330 million Americans. Our system is broken,” he said.

Torres said in a rational world, all guns would be registered, all gun owners would be licensed and every sale would be subject to a background check.

If someone has a history of violence, serious mental illness or fails to pass the background check, they should not be able to purchase a firearm, according to Torres.

What more can lawmakers do? Torres said they should either abolish the filibuster or a minimum reform of the filibuster.

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