Sen. Chris Murphy says Democrats don’t have enough votes in the Senate to pass the type of “assault” weapons ban championed by President Biden, but he would like to try to pass something in the new Congress.
Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said he wants to nudge the issue forward with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer by winning another Senate seat for Democrats in the Dec. 6 runoff election in Georgia.
“I’m glad that President Biden is gonna be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban,” Mr. Murphy told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The House has already passed it. It’s sitting in front of the Senate. Does it have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not. But let’s see if we can try to get that number as close to 60 as possible. If we don’t have the votes, then we’ll talk to Senator Schumer and maybe come back next year, with maybe an additional senator, and see if we can do better.”
Mr. Murphy said the Senate should examine whether counties are enforcing gun laws that are on the books. He said Congress might have to strip funding from places that don’t uphold their laws.
“They have decided that they are going to essentially refuse to implement laws that are on the books. That is a growing problem in this country,” he said. “And I think we’re gonna have to have a conversation about that in the United States Senate. Do we want to continue to supply funding to law enforcement in counties that refuse to implement state and federal gun laws?”
Mr. Murphy weighed in following mass shootings at an LGBT nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, that reignited the debate about gun violence in the U.S.
Colorado passed a red-flag law in 2019 to keep persons in crisis from accessing firearms if a family member or law enforcement officer flags the person, resulting in a court-ordered ban.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, told CBS it is unclear whether the law should have thwarted the alleged nightclub shooter from obtaining a firearm because he was involved in a bomb-threat incident in 2021.
“I’m sure what will be looked into is, ‘Why wasn’t it pursued?’” Mr. Polis said.