Gun Control and the Hagel Nomination

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joined “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the vice president’s forthcoming gun control proposals as well as the president’s nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to serve as defense secretary.

Among the possible ideas that could take legislative form is requiring universal background checks for gun purchasers. Currently, only about 60% of purchases require a background check. Gun control advocates have been pushing for closing the so-called “gun show loop hole” for years.

Senator Blumenthal, a former CT attorney general, says he believes that following the mass shooting at Newtown, the nation is ready for universal background checks-as well as a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips-two additional proposals already circulating on the Hill.

Senator Ayotte, also a former chief law enforcement official of her state, says that she is willing to listen to proposals on improving background checks, but added we “need to be very thoughtful in how we go forward,” to make sure we actually solve the problem.

Turning to the topic of Chuck Hagel, both guests said they had yet to make up their minds whether to support his nomination to defense secretary.

Ayotte says she is “very troubled” by the Hagel nomination and “perplexed” as to why the president nominated him, given some of his past statements and votes, which have stirred controversy.

Blumenthal says he is “not comfortable yet” with Hagel’s nomination, and he will “reserve judgment” until he has heard Hagel’s explanation of these statements and positions.