At a brief presentation to members of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce last week, U.S. Representative Tim Bishop expressed his concern that the country had missed an opportunity to enact reasonable gun control measures.
During the five-minute speech at the Lobster Grille Inn on Friday, which also covered topics like immigration and the budget, Mr. Bishop said the country needs to have stricter background checks in place to buy a gun. Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, Mr. Bishop said, the Senate should have passed proposed regulations but failed to get the required 60 votes.
If it had passed, the gun regulations would have created a system of more intense background checks aimed at detecting buyers who are ineligible to own guns, including convicted criminals, illegal immigrants and the mentally unstable. The measure failed 54-46, six votes shy of the 60 needed to pass in the Senate and be sent to the House for consideration.
“That is deeply unfortunate,” he said. “We need to put in place a reasonable background check.”
Mr. Bishop said he is committed to keep trying, and hopes that stricter regulations will eventually be put in place. During the speech, he said he is going to keep lobbying the Senate to prevent future gun-related tragedies.
Also during the speech, Mr. Bishop said a focus in Washington right now is job creation, but that there are challenges. Everyone acknowledges that jobs need to be created, but it is difficult to do so while curbing spending, he said, adding that the country must adhere to three separate part of the budget—set by the House, the Senate and the president.
Mr. Bishop said the focus right now is to create programs that will help the country and not be a drain on any of the budgets.
“We have to be careful and put in place programs that will allow us to grow our economy,” he said. “We have some tough issues to try and work through, and I am hopeful that we can.”