Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy sees an opportunity for Congress to pass “something important” about gun safety for the first time in decades, he said onSunday.
Murphy, who leadson a gun-safety measure now, moderator Margaret Brennan said he’s seen more Republicans “come to the table and talk this time” than ever before since the worst school shooting in Sandy Hook a decade ago. At the time, Murphy was the congressman representing Newtown, Connecticut, where Sandy Hook is located. Four months after that massacre, the Senate passed a weapons safety compromise measure that would have expanded background checks, but it was not passed.
There is now a sense of urgency and focus in the discussions, following the mass school shooting in Uvalde this week. “I think parents in this country and kids right now desperately want us to do something,” Murphy told Brennan. “They’re scared, they’re anxious, and we’ll only increase their fear if nothing more happens.”
“I think we can get something done, but we don’t have a lot of time,” the Connecticut senator said. Late last week, Murphy said he and the bipartisan group of senators who worked on the package would continue to talk this week during the congressional hiatus.
The way he sees it, the key is compromise.
“Republicans aren’t willing to support anything I support, like banning assault weapons, but I really think we can pass on something that can save lives and break the blockade we’ve had for 30 years,” Murphy said. The Republicans prove that if you vote to tighten the country’s gun laws, the sky doesn’t fall for you politically.”
The measures being discussed by a bipartisan group of senators are red flag laws, an extension of background checks and perhaps safe storage of weapons.
Murphy said the goal is to find a compromise “in which we both tighten up the country’s gun laws to ensure only law-abiding citizens get their hands on these very powerful weapons, and invest in school safety and mental health.” Compromising on what he called an “all-of-the-above strategy” is “ultimately the path to 60 votes,” the number of votes needed to purge the Senate.
He said he’s willing to “vote for some things that harden our schools and frankly make me a little uncomfortable, if Republicans are willing to vote to tighten up the country’s gun laws in a way that they haven’t before.” wanted to do,” Murphy said. said. “That’s the nature of compromise.”
He admitted that there are some things that are unlikely to be included in the bill, such as a ban on high-capacity magazines.
“I think it’s unlikely we can get 60 votes for that now,” he told Brennan. “That’s a question that will probably have to be left to voters.”
He added that “it falls into the category of things I think would save lives — I’ve always said that. I’m not sure that shooter would even have walked into the school and Sandy Hook had he not had an assault rifle.” … and those high-capacity magazines, but I’m not sure we have the votes for that now.”