A bipartisan group of Senators has gotten together to work on gun reform legislation after the recent outbreaks of shootings, including Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” and stated at this time, an assault weapons ban and comprehensive background checks are not on the table.
“We’re not going to do everything I want,” the Connecticut Democrat said of a potential Senate bill.
He added: “We’re not going to put a piece of legislation on the table that’s going to ban assault weapons, or we’re not going to pass comprehensive background checks. But right now, people in this country want us to make progress. They just don’t want the status quo to continue for another 30 years.”
A recent poll showed that 70 percent of Americans believe that lawmakers should prioritize legislation reducing gun violence, and 88 percent support background checks on all gun sales. However, Sen. Murphy’s focus seems to be on a bill that could gain the 60 votes required to pass. While he states that more Republicans have come to the table, the Connecticut senator remains “sober-minded.”
“I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these. There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws, investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook,” Murphy told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” referencing the mass shooting in 2012 at an elementary school in his home state. “I’ve also been part of many failed negotiations in the past, so I’m sober-minded about our chances.”
The House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act more than a year ago, and it’s staled in the Senate. Murphy cited Florida’s ‘red flag laws” enacted after the Parkland shooting as a template to get something passed. However, there are some mixed feelings from both Democrats and Republicans as to how effective they are.
“We are broadly trying to figure out what has 60 votes, but I think the template in Florida is the right one, which is, do some significant mental health investment, some school safety money and some modest but impactful changes in gun laws,” he said. “That’s the kind of package we’re putting together right now. That’s the kind of package I think can pass the Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has pushed for a deal by the end of this week. Texas Sen. John Cornyn tweeted that more restrictive gun measures were “not going to happen.”