A Connecticut senator who was praised last week for his impassioned response to the Uvalde shooting on the Senate floor now says he thinks Republicans are willing to come to the table and discuss reforms to tackle mass shootings.
Sen. Chris Murphy joined CBS’ Face the nation on Sunday, host Margaret Brennan said he sees more Republicans interest in pursuing bipartisan reform than at any point in his career since the deadly Sandy Hook shooting in his home state under the Obama presidency.
“Republicans aren’t willing to support anything I support, like banning assault weapons, but I really think we can achieve something that can save lives and break the blockade we’ve had for 30 years,” he told Ms. Brennan. .
More GOP senators like Susan Collins, who expressed support for red flag laws last week, are “coming to the table” than at any recent point, he added.
And the Democratic senator added that he was willing to compromise on issues Democrats were hesitant to accept, such as more law enforcement in schools, in order to convince Republicans to make concessions themselves.
The senator could “vote for some of the things that harden our schools and frankly make me a little uncomfortable, if Republicans are willing to vote to tighten the country’s gun laws in a way they didn’t want to do before,” he said. Murphy. CBS, adding, “That’s the nature of compromise.”
Other senators have expressed similar optimism in recent days, while Senate leader Chuck Schumer has said the chamber will vote on gun laws with or without GOP support. Maine’s Susan Collins, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and others are reportedly sitting together during the break that began late last week with the intention of reaching a compromise; currently on the table is a federal grant program that would incentivize states to pass red flag laws, according to news reports.
Some veterans of the room, such as Maryland’s Ben Cardin, were hesitant to say progress is likely. Mr Cardin said: Fox News Sunday that “the urgency is there,” while adding that he wasn’t sure if any legislation would pass through the closely divided chamber.
“Well, the jury disagrees on that,” he told Fox. “We’ve tried so many different issues and failed to even start a debate whether we’re dealing with gun safety issues or we’re dealing with immigration or even dealing with small businesses. We’re not there managed to get 10 senators to allow us to even start a debate, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Red flag laws differ from background checks (another area of potential compromise, according to reports) in that they rely on family members, loved ones, or members of law enforcement to seek court orders restricting possession of firearms if a person is considered a danger to themselves or others. The laws are already in effect in nearly two dozen states, but Texas has none on the books.
At least one student who knew the Uvalde suspect is known to have expressed concerns about the gunman’s possible intent to carry out a mass shooting before it happened.