Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has been leading bipartisan talks within the Senate on gun control laws, said more Republicans are on the table working toward changing gun laws and investing in mental health than “at any time since Sandy Hook.”
“I’ve never been a part of negotiations as serious as these,” he said in an interview Sunday with CNN’S “State of the Union.”
“We’re talking a few meaningful change in our gun laws, a serious investment in mental health, perhaps some money for varsity security that may make a difference. On the table is red flag laws, changes to our background check system to enhance the prevailing system, a handful of other items that may make a difference,” he said.
Sen. Chris Murphy on CNN: “I’ve never been a part of negotiations as serious as these. There are more Republicans on the table talking about changing our gun laws and investing in mental health than at any time since Sandy Hook.” pic.twitter.com/674XHHHGXN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 5, 2022
Murphy on Friday told CNN that there are a variety of “outstanding” issues that also needed to be hammered out, including whether to boost the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21.
“I don’t know yet whether there’s enough support to get to 60 votes on that,” Murphy said of raising the purchasing age. “There’s a variety of outstanding questions that we’ll should answer next week.”
Murphy, who has been an outspoken advocate of gun control because the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, has been meeting with senators about potential changes to current gun laws within the wake of a spate of mass shootings, including last month’s violence by gun-wielding teenagers in Buffalo, Latest York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Sen. Chris Murphy speaks during a rally with fellow Senate Democrats and gun control advocacy groups outside the U.S. Capitol on May 26 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
Murphy said Sunday that the group’s discussions have been across the clock, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) giving him until the tip of this week to strike a compromise.
“As late as last night we were engaged in conversations about attempting to put a package together. I believe Republicans realize how scared parents and children are across the country. I believe they realize that this time can’t be nothing,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was tapped by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to guide the negotiations for his party, told Politico that if the Senate can’t agree on a legislative response after the recent shooting in Texas “it can be embarrassing.”
A person is comforted by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School on Friday in Uvalde, Texas.
“It might feed the narrative that we are able to’t get things done in the general public interest,” he said.
Cornyn, in an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday, said the shooting has “given us a way of urgency that perhaps we haven’t had up to now.”
He said he’s “not naive” but as an alternative “hopeful.”
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), considered one of the GOP members within the group, also expressed optimism of their progress Wednesday.
“We’re making rapid progress toward a commonsense package that would garner support from each Republicans and Democrats,” Collins said in an announcement.