Connecticut senators rally for gun reform as they say they’re in talks with Republican lawmakers

Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal say they are actively speaking with republican lawmakers to try to find ‘common ground’ on issues of red flag laws and mental health support.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) rallied outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday as both lawmakers said they are actively speaking to republicans about passing gun reform. The discussions follow the deadly tragedy at an elementary school in Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers.

“We’re going to be talking with republicans all day today, all through the weekend, all next week to try to find a path forward,” said Murphy, who has actively been advocating for gun reform and mental health assistance for years. “I know it’s going to be difficult. I’ve certainly failed many times before, but I think there’s a chance. I think there’s a chance that republicans in the party are not willing this time to do nothing in the face of this carnage.”

Blumenthal said lawmakers would use the upcoming break to discuss ‘common ground’ for gun reform. Blumenthal is advocating to pass a ‘red flag’ law he is drafting with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The proposed federal red flag statute would allow police to confiscate weapons from people that the court deemed to be dangerous.

“I have been working for more than three years on a red flag statute that now seems to have broad acceptance. I’ve talked over the last 24 hours with republican colleagues who are saying it’s time for a red flag statute in their states and around the country. And just an hour or so ago, I talked with one of the leading republicans who said for the first time he is open to voting for and leading a red flag statute,” said Blumenthal. “I think there’s a sweet spot here. And, I salute Senator Murphy for his work on background checks. Maybe that can be part of a package, but red flags statutes like the bill that Senator Graham and I have drafted seems to have some momentum.”

Lawmakers in Connecticut have been pushing for gun reform since a gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 26 people. That includes a safe storage law, otherwise known as ‘Ethan’s Law.’

“Every time I look at the scenes from Texas I have vivid memories, flashbacks to that grief-filled time that afternoon and the succeeding days when I went to the wakes and funerals, when I spoke to the families, visiting them at their homes. And, seeing the gaps in their lives that are left when they lost this child. There’s something so totally unnatural about losing a child. But even more so when it’s gun violence and an act of such heinous, barbarity,” said Blumenthal.

The House passed two gun control measures in March 2021. It is still not clear if or when the Senate will take up those bills.

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