May 27, 2022 - Politics

Cornyn willing to discuss red flag laws with Democrats

States with <span style="color: white; background-color:#FB714E; padding: 2px 4px; margin-right:3px; white-space: nowrap;">red flag gun laws</span>
Data: Giffords Law Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said he's prepared to work with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, on gun safety legislation.

Why it matters: So-called red flag laws, which Cornyn said he'd be open to discussing, seem to be the most realistic path for a congressional compromise, Axios' Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender write.

  • Red flag laws allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from those considered to be a threat to themselves or others.
  • Legislation that would expand background checks and address loopholes in waiting period rules is also being discussed but appears less likely to overcome a Senate filibuster.

Between the lines: The shooter had no known history of mental illness. Authorities have disclosed he entered the school through an unlocked door — and that the school had no armed security guard.

The big picture: At the state level, Republicans and Democrats have found common ground over red flag laws.

  • Nineteen states have red flag laws, including in GOP-controlled states such as Florida and Indiana. However, talks in the Texas Legislature stalled in 2018 when Gov. Greg Abbott asked lawmakers to take up the measure. He later dropped the idea after gun advocates and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushed back.

What they're saying: Cornyn said Tuesday's shooting could provide a new "impetus" to the stalled talks over gun safety legislation, Bloomberg reported.

  • Both Senate Democrats and Republicans held small-group discussions Wednesday to gauge bipartisan support for the passage of any legislation.

But, but, but: Compromise remains a long way off. Some Republicans bristled at the idea, and many Democrats are skeptical of real progress.

What's next: President Biden will visit Uvalde on Sunday to meet with families.

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