Here's what federal lawmakers are talking about as they take up gun legislation
Connecticut’s two Democratic U.S. senators say they’re trying to move forward on gun legislation after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.
Sen. Chris Murphy says there’s a Republican “logjam” of opposition to gun control measures, so to push any legislation through, he and his Democratic colleagues have to be realistic. Murphy says they’re “entertaining” increased funding for the physical security of schools and mental health resources in exchange for support on the expansion of background checks and red flag legislation — letting authorities temporarily take guns away from people thought to be a danger to themselves and others.
“I have had the football pulled out from under me enough times before in these negotiations to be realistic about our prospects for success, but we are going to work every single minute of every single day over the course of this week and next week to try to get enough of our Republican colleagues to yes,” Murphy said Tuesday at a news conference in Hartford.
Even if they don’t get the necessary support, Murphy said a vote will still be called.
Speaking after Murphy’s remarks at the state Capitol, Mark Barden had a message for Congress. Barden held a picture of his son Daniel, who was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
“Can we start the conversation with, ‘We all want to protect our children, we all want our communities to be safer’? Because we can,” he said. “It’s always been possible.”
Barden, a co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Action Fund, says lawmakers can enact gun reform without infringing upon the rights of legal gun owners.
But that probably won’t include bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines any time soon, according to Murphy.
“It’s hard to find the path to 60 votes in the Senate for a ban on assault weapons, and my hope is that by passing legislation that is impactful but a compromise, we prove to Republicans that there is support out there for them when they take these steps forward,” Murphy said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, also speaking at the state Capitol, brought up something that was considered after 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook — limiting capacity for magazines to 10 rounds or less.
“I think the American people are beginning to understand how these weapons of war — literally designed to kill and maim people on the battlefield — are now used to have open season against children, and I think their revulsion is going to be reflected at some point in action on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines,” Blumenthal said.
In lieu of legislation, Blumenthal is recommending several ways to address gun violence in America, including the immediate confirmation of a new director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.