Sen. Murphy: Congress ready for ban on assault weapons

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Sen. Chris Murphy on Sunday said there is growing momentum in Congress for a ban on so-called assault weapons, saying lawmakers’ attitudes toward gun control have changed significantly in the wake of last month’s shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn.

“This issue is going to continue to move,” Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union. “I do think that even in the Democratic caucus you see members like [Sens.] Joe Manchin and Mark Warner who previously probably never would have considered a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazine clips now coming to the table.”

Mr. Murphy added that even some Republicans in the House, including Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, have suggested they would consider universal gun background checks for firearms purchases and bans on high-capacity magazine gun clips.

“That’s a sea change, if people like that in the Republican House caucus are willing to look at this,” Mr. Murphy said.

“Newtown fundamentally changed things, and the NRA just doesn’t get this. They’ve got to come to the table on gun control, just as they say they’re coming to the table on mental health, because their previous allies and backers in the House and the Senate aren’t with them anymore.”

But Mr. Manchin on Sunday disagreed with Mr. Murphy’s assessment, saying later on “State of the Union” that a stand-alone ban on assault weapons “will not, in the political reality that we have today, go anywhere … it has to be comprehensive approach.”

And National Rifle Association President David Keene, on the same program, repeated his prediction that Congress won’t pass a ban on the military-style firearms.

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