Connecticut officials hope for ‘meaningful’ change

US Senator Chris Murphy Credit: Courtesy of CT-N

U.S. senators from Connecticut were optimistic on Tuesday that bipartisan talks would result in the Senate passing ‘meaningful’ changes to the nation’s gun laws in response to the mass shooting of children at an elementary school in Connecticut. Texas last week.

At an early morning press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said last week’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas left some Republicans Senate ready to negotiate on the subject of gun control.

“We have to accept that it’s during these times that the opportunity for change is most acute,” Murphy said.

Murphy and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal declined to elaborate on which lawmakers were included in the negotiations or what gun policies might be included in a finished product.

However, he said policies including a red flag law, expanded background checks, gun storage requirements were all on the table, as was increased investment in mental health services and school safety. A new ban on assault weapons would not be among the policies to be negotiated, he said.

“We’re looking to do a complete package that breaks the impasse,” Murphy said, “that doesn’t do everything I’d like but does enough to save lives and convince our fellow Republicans, who, as you have understood, have been unwilling to support such common sense measures in the past, that the sky will not fall on them politically.

Blumenthal said the list of provisions remains evolving because Democrats involved in the talks are “genuinely” listening to Republican ideas for reducing gun violence.

“There is nothing concrete in the subjects that we would discuss. There are others that are potentially open for discussion,” Blumenthal said.

While it remains to be seen whether the talks will result in a bill acceptable to senators on both sides of the aisle, Murphy and Blumenthal said the chamber will vote on tougher gun policies in one way or the other.

“I’ve had football taken from me enough times before in these negotiations to be realistic about our prospects of success,” Murphy said. “But we’re going to be working every moment of every day over this week and next week to try to get enough of our fellow Republicans to ‘yes’. I hope they’re moved by what they’ve witnessed. on the way to the rest of this country that has been moved.

Asked about the talks at an unrelated event on Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont said he thought Congress would “do something” about the issue.

“From my perspective as a state, if the federal government could do two-thirds of what the state of Connecticut does, we’d be a lot safer, Texas would be a lot safer, Florida would be a lot safer. safe, Connecticut would be much safer,” Lamont said.

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