May 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Murphy: Republicans "willing to talk" gun reform

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that there are "many more Republicans willing to talk" about gun control legislation following the Uvalde mass shooting last week than he's seen in the last 10 years.

Driving the news: "Every single time after one of these mass shootings, there's talks in Washington and they never succeed," Murphy said. "But there are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a path forward this time than I have ever seen" since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

  • A bipartisan group of senators has convened to discuss a legislative response in the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 children and two adults last week.

What they're saying: Murphy conceded that while he'd like to see an assault weapons ban and the implementation of universal background checks, the group's solutions likely won't be that far-reaching.

  • "But what we're talking about is not insignificant," Murphy said. "Inside this room, we're talking about red flag laws, we're talking about strengthening, expanding the background check system, if not universal background checks."
  • "We're talking about safe storage, and yes, we're also talking about mental health resources and more security dollars for schools. A package that, really in the end, could have a significant downward pressure on gun violence in this country."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he has encouraged Murphy and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is leading the talks for Republicans, to make any progress they can.

  • Durbin said he told them to "do the right thing and do as much as you can do, and let's join together — if we can — on a bipartisan basis to show the American people that what happened in Uvalde was not in vain."

Worth noting: Murphy said he spoke with Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) last week about gun control measures Florida was able to pass after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

  • "I had a long conversation with Sen. Scott last week and had him tell me the story about how they were able to pass that legislation," Murphy said, adding that it "proved that Republicans could take on the gun lobby ... and still get re-elected."

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