MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Following the third mass shooting in this country over the past two weeks, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly was optimistic that Congress could approve tougher gun control legislation despite past failures.
"Can it get through the United States Senate? I think so. This often takes some work and takes some time," Kelly said Thursday during a press conference in Mesa.
Kelly, who campaigned last year on gun safety, said he is pushing for legislation that requires background checks on all firearm sales.
A recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that two-thirds of American voters support tightening gun purchase laws. But for any proposal to succeed, it needs the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate to avoid the bill crushing filibuster. And so far, GOP lawmakers have shown few signs of working in a bipartisan manner.
Previous efforts in the Senate to require background checks on sales have failed. Most notably, in 2012, after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school shootings when the so-called Manchin-Toomey proposal died on a 48-50 vote. In 2015, the same proposal failed to pass the Senate again after shooters in San Bernardino, California, killed 14 and injured over a dozen more.
But Kelly insisted that the political winds are shifting.
"I talked to my Democratic and Republican colleagues about this, and the plan is to, you know, work on it. Background checks for gun sales make sense," Kelly said.