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Flake: Congress can make difference by passing multiple gun bills

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that Congress can make a difference by passing multiple gun bills in the wake of the Florida high school shooting.

“I think there is a number of things we can do and, if we do them all, we can make a difference,” he said during a CBS News interview.

Flake — who has introduced bills that would ban bump stocks, raise the minimum age to buy an assault-style rifle and prohibit people on the no-fly list from purchasing guns — said his bills could chip away at the number of mass shooters, but any measure would likely need the backing of President Donald Trump.

“His leadership here is really critical if it’s going to get through the House and the Senate,” Flake said.

The senator said Trump should be working the phones to get Republicans on board with any new legislation.

“That gives Republicans in Congress cover,” he said. “If the president is on their side, they don’t have to worry so much about activists groups or the NRA or grassroots organizations that may think differently.”

But Flake was open to more than just adding laws. He said repealing a law that blocked the Centers for Disease Control from studying mass shootings would be a good idea.

“I think there are things that can be useful to legislators as we make decisions and findings of the CDC would be helpful in that regard,” he said, adding that he thinks legislators “can and will” repeal it.