Pelosi: California Gun Laws Didn't Stop Terrorists, So 'That's Why We Need a National Gun Law'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged that even with her home state's strict gun laws the San Bernardino terrorists got their weapons, but argued that's reason to expand the statutes federally nonetheless.
Pelosi was asked on PBS about the fact that the guns used in last week's massacre at a county Christmas party were legally purchased in California, which "has one of the tougher gun control laws in the country."
"Well, it is. And the fact is that's why we need a national gun law so that there is no thought that even though one state may have good laws you can buy guns in another place. These, as you said, were bought in California," Pelosi said.
"But the bigger issue is as follows. Overwhelmingly, the American people support sensible background check legislation, expanding the Brady Bill to include online purchases, straw purchases, I can't qualify, you can, you buy it and you sell it to me, and gun shows."
She added that "the most egregious and the one the American people understand clearly" among pending gun legislation "is that if you are on the FBI no-fly watch list, it doesn't disqualify you or prevent you from buying a gun."
"And the NRA does not allow this Congress to take a vote on that. The NRA on a no-fly, FBI watch list. So on both of those bills it's about the NRA intervening when in fact the American people should call the shots."
Pelosi said she doesn't know what Republican support in Congress might exist for an assault weapons ban, but "the assault weapons are bad things."
"Senator [Dianne] Feinstein has been the champion on this issue. But I think that if you look at not the high profile shootings which are terrible and break our hearts and challenge our conscience, but look at the fact that every night many people are killed throughout our country, most of them not with an assault weapon," she continued. "So if you're going to reduce gun violence in our country, the background check has much more reach than assault weapon ban -- although my colleagues may introduce an assault weapon ban this week as well."
On Campaign 2016, Pelosi predicted that a Donald Trump nomination "would maximize our members of Congress."
"But nonetheless, having said that, it's up to the Republicans to choose their nominee," she added. "We have three great candidates. Any one of them would walk into that Oval Office with all the values of our country, we would be very proud of them whoever she may be."