PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor Bill Peduto joined Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and a delegation other in Washington, demanding progress on gun legislation in the wake of mass shootings in their cities.

“What’s different now is we now have had over 250 mass homicides this year,” he said. “This issue isn’t going away. There are now cities and mayors from the Republican party who were never involved before.”

In meetings with the White House and on Capitol Hill, they pressed for a vote on a background check bill that has passed the house but has stalled in the senate.

Peduto today said he was uplifted by a meeting with our Republican Senator Pat Toomey on presenting such a bill, but those hopes were soon dashed.

“If the meeting with Senator Toomey was the high point of optimism then the high point of pessimism would have been the meeting with Leader McConnell,” he said. “That meeting lasted about three minutes.”

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the delegation what he’s been saying for two weeks, that he won’t bring a vote to the floor unless it has the backing of President Trump who has expressed doubts about background checks.

Peduto said he is still optimistic the time has come to find a compromise and pass meaningful gun legislation.

“If there is a willingness on the democratic side to find where that common ground is,” he said. “We will see something done and we’ll see it done in the very near future.”