WASHINGTON (Gray TV) -- Senators from Connecticut, Virginia, Oregon have one thing in common. Each one of their states played witness to a deadly mass shooting.
That's why a group of Senate Democrats took to the steps of the U.S. Capitol to unveil new gun safety legislation and to say just how out of step they think Congress is on gun control.
They want to strengthen the background check system, close background check loopholes and shut down the illegal gun pipeline.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who supported similar legislation in 2013 says while he supports second amendment rights, the gun safety bill is common sense.
"All we said is close the loopholes and close a gun show and there's not a law abiding gun owner in West Virginia that wants to sell a gun to a criminal or to someone who has been adjudicated mentally," he said.
Members of the National Rifle Association agree with the mental health reform, but believe that is where the focus should stay.
"That's the critical part. Making sure that we identify those people who have been adjudicated as mentally ill and pose a threat to either themselves or to others we need to make sure those people don't have access to firearms," said Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association.
Mortensen says universal background checks wouldn't have stopped the recent high profile shootings from happening. She says each one of those guns were purchased legally.
According to the Pew Research Center, about 85 percent of all Americans favor universal background checks on gun sales.