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A Southeast Wisconsin Republican congressman says it doesn't look like Congress will do much to tighten the nation's gun control laws, despite what he calls a crisis push from Democrats. 

"I think that what you see on the left is this continued agenda of gun control," Congressman Brian Steil said Monday. "And they're not going to let a crisis go without trying to push their agenda forward."

Steil said Democrats are trying to make the most of this month's shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Datyon, Ohio. 

Steil told News Talk 1130 WISN's Jay Weber that he doesn't think the constant pressure from Democrats on Capitol Hill and Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin is wearing Republicans down. 

As for the specifics of what Democrats want, he said they are pushing background checks because it is more palatable than gun buy-backs and bans on so-called black rifles. 

"Confiscation of guns doesn't sound good to people," Steil said. "Shockingly they don't announce that."

Instead of guns, Steil said Congress should focus on what drives someone to pick up a weapon to harm someone else.

"We need to have a broader conversation about this really serious problem of mass shootings," Steil said. "In large part it's a mental health issue."

Steil said he saw the need for mental health treatment when he visited a high school in Racine weeks before the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. 

"We brought in experts from Children's Hospital, we brought in experts from the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, and a few others," Steil said. "I'm trying to be a leader. But you see folks on the left try and use these tragedies for their anti-gun approach."

President Donald Trump has signaled that he may be open to some tougher background checks and more mental health treatment options. 

Democrats in Congress are pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to act as soon as they return from the summer recess. 

Staff Writer

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.