Merkley, Wyden call for tougher gun restrictions

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s two U.S. senators are calling for tougher gun restrictions in the wake of a shooting at Umpqua Community College last week.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley spoke Thursday at the U.S. Capitol.

They’re calling for mandatory background checks on all gun sales. Federal law requires background checks for sales through licensed gun dealers, but private person-to-person transactions are excluded.

Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden spoke about the Umpqua Community College shooting, Oct. 2, 2015 (KOIN)

They also want to improve the database of people prohibited from owning firearms. And they want to make it a federal crime to purchase a gun on behalf of someone who’s prohibited from owning them.

The National Rifle Association says in a statement that the Oregon gunman passed a background check. The NRA says the underlying issue is a broken mental health system, not guns.

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