Gun Reform Won’t Have Assault Weapons Ban, Expanded Background Checks

Gun Reform Won’t Have Assault Weapons Ban, Expanded Background Checks

  • Murphy said the current gun reform talks don’t include an assault weapons ban or expanded background checks.
  • The talks have come as the nation continues to grapple with the aftermath of mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.
  • “We’re not going to do everything I want,” the Connecticut lawmaker said of a potential Senate bill.

Sen. Chris Murphy — who is playing a major role in crafting a bipartisan gun reform bill following deadly mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas — said that potential legislation resulting from the current talks will not include an assault weapons ban or “comprehensive” background checks.

Murphy, during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” told host Jake Tapper that a bipartisan contingent of senators met on Saturday, with the group eyeing increased mental health funding, additional safety measures for schools, and “modest” gun control regulations as part of a package that could pass the upper chamber.

“We’re not going to do everything I want,” the Connecticut Democrat said of a potential Senate bill.

He added: “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.”

At it currently stands, the bipartisan reform may include narrower background checks — a provision that doesn’t go as far as many gun-control advocates would prefer — but would be the sort of compromise that could help a potential bill overcome a legislative filibuster.

Murphy called the talks some of the most fruitful that he has witnessed since joining the Senate in 2013.

“I’ve never been part of negotiations as serious as these,” he said. “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.”

However, understanding the political reality of an evenly-divided Senate, Murphy said the discussions could potentially fall apart.

“I’ve also been part of many failed negotiations in the past, so I’m sober minded about our chances,” he said. “I’m more confident than ever that we’re going to get there, but I’m also more anxious about failure this time around.”

The senator, who as a House member in 2012 represented Newtown — the site of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were killed by a 20-year-old gunman — has become one of the highest-profile gun control advocates in the Senate.

Last year, after a mass shooting at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit, Murphy pleaded for some sort of gun reform, even expressing that he would “settle” for legislation that was much narrower in scope that what he desired.

Immediately after the Uvalde shooting last month, Murphy once again pleaded with his colleagues to work with him on gun reform measures and lamented past legislative inaction.

“What are we doing? What are we doing? Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African-American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands,” he said during a speech on the Senate floor.

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