‘Progress is possible’ on gun laws after Uvalde shooting

Placeholder while loading article actions

It’s hard for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to express too much hope that this time, after yet another one mass shootings in the country, things will be different when it comes to passing congressional legislation to address gun violence.

But he gave way to some optimism on Sunday, saying he was in talks with more of his GOP colleagues than ever before.

Murphy was on duty in 2012 when a gunman killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state. And he was in Congress on Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers, the deadliest shooting since Sandy Hook.

In response to the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, state and federal lawmakers discussed the future of gun laws on May 29. (Video: The Washington Post)

In the years since Sandy Hook, there have been many discussions in Washington, but no significant federal legislation has been passed to tighten gun laws, Murphy noted Sunday.

“But there are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a way forward this time than I’ve seen since Sandy Hook,” Murphy said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“And while in the end I may end up heartbroken, I’m at the table in a more meaningful way right now with Republicans and Democrats than ever before — certainly with a lot more Republicans ready to talk. right now they were only ready to talk after Sandy Hook,” he said.

Other Democratic lawmakers have also echoed hopes that gun control legislation can now be crafted, even though most Republican members of Congress have shown little indication they are willing to. support any stricter gun control.

The day after the shooting, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) pleaded with his GOP colleagues to consider a bill that would strengthen background checks on those looking to buy guns fire.

“To my fellow Republicans, imagine if this happened to you. Imagine if this was your child or your grandchild. How would you feel?” Schumer said Wednesday.

Schumer called on just 10 Republicans “to stand before history and cry stop!” He then acknowledged the “reality” that most would not recognize. The Senate went into recess without taking any votes on gun legislation.

But on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stood in for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to negotiate with Democrats on gun legislation. Those bipartisan conversations — which continued through the holiday weekend, even though the Senate is on recess — were “encouraging,” Murphy said.

“These are serious negotiations, and we will continue to meet early next week to try to find common ground,” Murphy said, adding that a ban on assault weapons and Universal background checks might not be realistic, even if he wholeheartedly supports them.

“But what we are talking about is not trivial,” he added. “We are talking about red flag laws. We are talking about strengthening and expanding the system of background checks, if not universal background checks. We are talking about secure storage.

He once again tempered his optimism, saying simply breaking this deadlock could be the most important step the bipartisan group can take.

It “would just show that progress is possible and that the sky is not falling for Republicans if they support some of these common sense measures,” Murphy said.

Still, most Republicans have shown reluctance to move to allow any restrictions on gun ownership.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who is running for the Senate, indicated that he would not support any changes to the gun laws currently in place, saying “the rights not violations of the Second Amendment” were necessary. in case citizens need to “take back our government”.

McConnell’s decades-long effort to block gun control

NRA-endorsed Rep. Chris Jacobs (RN.Y.) broke with the GOP last week and said he would now support an assault weapons ban, magazine capacity limits, increased age to buy guns from 18 to 21, and other gun restrictions. The recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have forced him to reevaluate his stance on guns, Jacobs told the Buffalo News.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), whose NRA rating was downgraded from an “A” to an “F” after calling for a ban on bump stocks following a mass shooting during a a music festival in Las Vegas, on Sunday lambasted the NRA as a “squeaky scam”.

Kinzinger said raising the gun purchase age to 21 is “a no-brainer”, and said he was open to regulations or even a ban on AR-15s. On Saturday in Buffalo, Vice President Harris called for a ban on assault weapons.

“I think if there’s a way to maybe when it comes to ARs, you know, if there’s a special license, you have to own one,” Kinzinger said. “I’m definitely ready to start this conversation. And maybe that ultimately includes not selling them anymore. That’s good, because for me, again, my focus now is on saving lives.

Chairing a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) called for a vote on the background check legislation after the Senate returned from its Memorial Day suspension.

“We should vote,” he said. “That’s why we were elected.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Durbin said he wasn’t sure the Uvalde tragedy would affect enough Republicans to show “political courage in a very difficult situation.”

“I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you that I sense a different feeling among my colleagues after Uvalde,” Durbin said. “Of course, 10 years ago it was Sandy Hook, and Parkland, and so many other cases.”

He added that the stories coming out of Uvalde might compel lawmakers “to imagine your own children or grandchildren held captive by this madman as he kills them one by one in this school, and realize that he It’s time for us to do something”.

Mike DeBonis and Steven Zeitchik contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: