Blumenthal vows to grill Sessions on gun stance

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama at an August speech on immigration policy hosted by Donald Trump in Phoenix.

Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama at an August speech on immigration policy hosted by Donald Trump in Phoenix.

Washington – Sen. Jeff Sessions will face scrutiny on his civil rights, immigration and reproductive health issues during his confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next U.S. attorney general, but Sen. Richard Blumenthal also plans to ask the Alabama lawmaker about this record on gun issues.

Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will kick off Session’s contentious confirmation hearing Tuesday, said he will ask “tough, pointed” questions of the nominee, whose position on gun violence “raises concerns.”

The National Rifle Association has praised President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Sessions as the nation’s top cop.

“The gun control lobby, funded by billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, tried to turn the 2016 election into a referendum on the Second Amendment – and they lost,” said NRA lobbyist Chris Cox. “In that regard, we should all be happy about President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general…. He strongly supports our Second Amendment freedoms and will work tirelessly to protect them.”

Sessions opposes a ban on semi-automatic weapons and repeatedly has voted against expanding FBI background checks of gun buyers. He also has voted in favor of a national right-to-carry amendment that would allow gun owners from right- to-carry states to carry their guns in other states.

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has submitted question to Sessions on his positions on gun issues – and received no response.

On Monday, Gross called Sessions a “lapdog” of the NRA. “It would almost be a joke if it weren’t so serious,”  Gross said.

Saying Alabama’s weak gun laws have led to an increase of gun deaths in the state, Gross said, “Americans have literally died because of Sessions and his allies.”

Blumenthal said he would query Sessions on his gun control stance – and about his record on civil rights, voting rights, immigration, religious freedoms – including Trump’s notion of a “Muslim registry” – women’s health, “and other areas where he is clearly out of the mainstream.”