Sen. Raphael Warnock says ‘we need reasonable gun reform in our country’ in response to ‘tragic’ Atlanta-area shootings

raphael warnock
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., arrives prior to the start of arguments in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 in Washington.

Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia said the US needed “reasonable gun reform in our country” in response to the Atlanta-area shootings that left eight people dead.

“We need reasonable gun reform in our country,” Warnock said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “This shooter was able to kill all of these folks the same day he purchased a firearm. But right now, what is our legislature doing? They’re busy under the gold dome in Georgia trying to prevent people from being able to vote the same day they register.”

He continued: “When you can buy a gun and create this much carnage and violence on the same day, but if you want to exercise your right to vote as an American citizen… the same legislature that should be focused on this, is busy erecting barriers to that constitutional right.”

Last week, a white gunman, 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, was arrested and charged for shootings at spas in the Atlanta-area earlier this week. Six of eight people who died during the attack were women of Asian descent.

“We all know hate when we see it. It is tragic that we’ve been visited with this kind of violence yet again,” Warnock said in the interview. “I’m going to do everything in my power as a United States Senator to make sure that families don’t have to endure this kind of violence in the first place.”

Long told law enforcement that he had a “sex addiction” and that the attack was not racially motivated, however, advocates are pushing back against that claim. The shootings came amid a rise in hate against the Asian American community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warnock, along with Sen. Jon Ossoff and state Rep. Bee Nguyen attended a rally on Saturday condemning hate crimes against the Asian American community, the Associated Press reported.

“I just wanted to drop by to say to my Asian sisters and brothers, we see you, and, more importantly, we are going to stand with you,” Warnock said during the rally, according to the AP.

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Sen. Raphael Warnock indicates support for keeping stimulus check income thresholds in the Biden relief package

warnock victory speech
Rev. Raphael Warnock

  • Warnock told Insider on Capitol Hill he favored maintaining the existing check thresholds in the Biden plan.
  • “I think people making $75,000 in Georgia are struggling in many instances,” he said.
  • The comments add to the growing criticism among Democrats who are resisting scaling back the income parameters of $1,400 stimulus checks.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia indicated during an interview on Capitol Hill that he favors keeping the same income thresholds for a wave of $1,4o0 stimulus checks and not tightening eligibility around them.

“I think people making $75,000 in Georgia are struggling in many instances,” he told Insider.

“I am committed to getting as many people help as soon as we can,” he added. “We need a robust package.”

Warnock’s comments may add momentum to a growing backlash among Democrats trying to drastically scale back the income thresholds for a full $1,400 check.

Insider previously reported that some Congressional Democrats were weighing putting forward a plan that would provide full direct payments to individuals making $50,000 and under, as well as couples earning $100,000 or less.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont strongly criticized the emerging plan, saying it was “unbelievable.”

“In other words, working-class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden,” Sanders tweeted on Sunday. “Brilliant!”

Senior House Democrats introduced legislation that would keep the income parameters laid out in the Biden package on Monday evening. The proposal would provide a $1,400 stimulus check for individuals earning $75,000 and under, along with couples making $150,000 or less.

Warnock, along with Sen. Jon Ossoff, won a pair of special elections in Georgia early last month. Both promised to deliver voters a $2,000 stimulus check if they were elected to the Senate. Biden doubled down on those pledges in a campaign swing on their behalf.

“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington – that $2,000 stimulus check – that money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble,” Biden said in the waning days of the fiercely contested runoffs.

Their victories gave Democrats a narrow majority in the Senate. They control the evenly-divided Senate due to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, opening the door for Democrats to take aggressive action on the economy and healthcare.

The Georgia senator is emerging as another advocate of aggressive federal action to combat the pandemic. “First thing we got to do is we’ve got to pass this COVID stimulus package. We cannot delay on this another day,” he recently told The Telegraph, a local newspaper in Georgia. “People in Georgia are suffering.”

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