Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) who has been pushing control for Democrats and leading bipartisan gun reform talks in the Senate, said on Sunday there is a potential compromise with Republicans, which would not include an assault weapons ban, something both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris called for, or “comprehensive” background checks.
Murphy told CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Jake Tapper that the bipartisan group of Senators leading the talks following a recent string of high-profile mass shooting met again Saturday night, adding that negotiations are focused on mental health funding, school safety measures and “modest but impactful” gun control proposal. Murphy added, “We’re not gong to do everything I want.”
Murphy gave a hilarious answer when asked by Tapper if he thought it would be helpful to get Joe Biden involved, and he immediately turned down that thought, replying, “I think the Senate needs to do this ourselves, but right now the Senate needs to handle these negotiations. Even the Democrats understand that the involvement of Joe Biden would just mess things up, and they’re rejecting Biden’s wish list because they know they can’t get it.”
“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.”
Murphy continued, “I’m all for focusing on mental health (which is almost always a factor), not to mention school safety. The question, of course, is what is meant by “modest but impactful” gun control? “I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these,” Murphy said on Sunday. “There are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws and investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook.”
Murphy said the group is also focusing on strengthening background checks and incentivizing states to implement red flag laws, which allow people to petition a court to temporarily confiscate firearms from owners considered risks to themselves or others, and providing funds for states with existing red flag legislation. “I think this week, we need to have concepts to present our colleagues,” Murphy added.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) designated to negotiate with the Democrats, said more restrictive gun laws were “not gonna happen.”