Police Chief Loses Cool in Senate Hearing Over Background Checks

Sen. Graham wonders why background checks ought to be expanded when current offenses aren't prosecuted

Police Chief Shouts at Graham: Gun Background Checks Just ‘a Paper Thing’ (PJ Media)

For the briefest moment on Capitol Hill today gun control crept back onstage as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) led an emotional hearing on her latest attempt to renew the assault weapons ban.

Feinstein, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in lieu of Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), banged the gavel several times during the course of the hearing to chide a gallery of supporters that would break out into applause at witness statements. A father of a boy killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting clutched a framed photo of his son and propped up two more poster-size photos as he wept during his testimony. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), again proudly declaring his ownership of an AR-15, tangled with gun-control advocates over current enforcement of background checks.

Still, by the second panel of witnesses few members of the committee were left on the dais, as a busy day of hearings and caucus powwows pulled members in different direction.

After a closed policy luncheon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated that the assault weapons ban may move from discussion to floor action before too long. Reid said he had an “extended conversation” with Leahy on Tuesday, and the chairman is trying to decide how best to proceed.

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