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Murphy, other senators announce bipartisan deal on guns

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), in a floor speech after the Uvalde, Texas shooting.
(C-SPAN)

Senate negotiators struck a bipartisan agreement Sunday on a series of gun safety measures that falls far short of reforms sought by President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats, but still represents a rare step forward on firearms in the evenly divided Senate.

The agreement was jointly announced by the offices of two Democrats and two Republicans, including Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a Democrat who has been a leading voice for gun legislation since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre of 26 children and educators in his old U.S. House district.

The measure endorsed by a working group of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, would enhance background checks for buyers under age 21 and create a “red flag” tool to allow the seizure of firearms from troubled individuals.

The so-called “boyfriend loophole” in NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, would be closed by requiring that domestic violence records and restraining orders be included.

“That’s very significant, the boyfriend loophole,” said Jeremy Stein, the executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

The summary also says the senators agreed on tougher penalties for “criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.” It also would invest “in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.”

But the details of exactly what that would mean were sparse, and it was clear the agreement did not include universal background checks for the purchase of firearms or restrict the sale of the military-style weapons and large-capacity magazines commonly used in mass shootings.

The deal comes after recent back-to-back mass shootings targeting Black shoppers in Buffalo and a school in Uvalde, Texas.

“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” the senators said. “Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”

The second portion addresses gun owners.

“Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” the senators said. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”

Stein, a former prosecutor who advocates for gun controls as the leader of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, struck a cautious note, praising a bipartisan deal as historic, while awaiting further details.

“I think it is a significant step in the right direction, but at the same time we still need to be doing more,” Stein said. “While this is a historical moment where we’re finally putting the safety of America before guns, we still have significant work to be done, including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.”

Stein said Connecticut’s laws should be a model for the rest of the nation.

Murphy, who was not available for comment, had challenged the Senate to end its stalemate after the Uvalde shooting.

“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,” Murphy said. “What are we doing?”

The Democratic caucus members behind the compromise are Murphy, Blumenthal, Krysten Sinema of Arizona, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chris Coons of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Mark Kelly of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats.

The Republicans are John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

11 comments

CT-Patriot June 13, 2022 at 8:26 pm

Red flag laws must be delt with an adjudication and not by simple “rat” a person who they want their 2nd Amendment rights violated.

We have background checks. There is no ” gun show loophole” as all dealers at these shows still follow background checks.

It’s private sales that are nothing more than a registration of the firearm. A database that can be abused later.

More effort is needed to address culture, broken families, religion, proper discipline.

May take bringing back ROTC so kids learn respect and respect what a real firearm can do.

Seve June 14, 2022 at 12:07 pm

An inquiring mind might ask, how was it that Rudy Giuliani was able to reduce dramatically the number of illegal guns in New York City using the laws which existed during his term from 1994 to 2001?

What good are new laws if you don’t enforce the one’s already on the books?

So now they want to institute Red Flag laws which would deprive you of your constitutional right to defend yourself and your family (You get into an argument with your neighbor and he reports you, the police take your legal guns and you have to go to court to get them back–perhaps after a year!).

YET Soros-backed DAs are releasing criminals onto the street without bail after committing crimes with illegal weapons while simultaneously defunding the police.

This along with the recent attempt to instal a “Minister of Truth” is pure authoritarianism.

Chris Murphy cannot think beyond 1+1. Anyone who votes for this guy needs a checkup from the neck-up.

Norwalk Republican June 14, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Criminals will get guns illegally. If you take away guns from the average Joe, who passes all background checks, all you are left with is the police (corrupt) with guns, criminals (evil) with guns, and politicians (evil) with guns. Good luck surviving the coming technocratic totalitarian regime.

Bruh June 14, 2022 at 12:48 pm

Isnt it suspicious as the economy is falling apart, due to the actions of our corrupt politicians, that they want to take away our guns?

Hmm…

Peter Franz June 14, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Veterans make up roughly 13% of the US population, yet sadly more than a third of the adult perpetrators of the 43 worst mass killings since 1984 had been in the United States military.

More military training is not the answer. We know the answer. Less guns equals less homicides.

Norwalk Republicann June 14, 2022 at 5:22 pm

@Peter Franz

Then how do you explain this?

Norway and Finland have similar levels of gun ownership, but far less gun crime

CT-Patriot June 14, 2022 at 5:25 pm

Peter,

Please enlighten us on “less guns” theory.

Democratic cities have THE strictest laws but have the most shootings.

Other states with responsible gun laws all have less shootings.

Therefore your theory is without merit and it’s proof of typical Democrat talking points.

Guns have been around for many years with very little events. It’s today’s culture, society etc that have broken down

Peter Franz June 15, 2022 at 12:06 am

@Norwalk Republicann Finland and Norway do not have anywhere near the USA levels of guns in circulation or gun ownership. You’ll note I said “less guns” so let’s keep the details correct.

The USA, besides being the whopping leader in homicide rate and mass murders, is also the “leader” in number of guns per capita. Nobody comes even remotely close. Despite our huge population, there are actually more guns than people in the USA.

Guns per capita:
USA: 120.50%
Norway: 28.8%
Finland: 32.4%

Homicide Rate (per 100,000):
USA: 6.3
Norway: 0.6
Finland: 1.6

And for those reading, the reason people who choose guns over children in their philosophy prefer to use “gun ownership” rate as a means of comparison, is it is a standard statistic play. In the USA there are many states that don’t bother to have citizens register their guns, and several who have a law that prohibits the state from collecting any data on guns. Obviously the gun ownership rate is severely undercounted.

I’m actually glad that Norway and Finland were brought up. They are actually models in how to fight gun violence. In Norway for example you need to have a documented reason filed with the police in order to own a gun. These reasons fall into two categories: sport shooting and hunting. You must take and pass a 9 hour gun safety course and proof you have taken part in 15 sport shooting events at an approved club before your gun purchase is approved. Also the gun may never leave the house loaded. Also it must be locked in a safe very specifically at home and the police may (and do) inspect these home safes. Infractions will cost your license. I’d tell you more about the hunting license, but suffice to say they’re longer and tougher.

Sound like the USA?

In Finland, similarly very tough laws that are in place to keep society safe. In fact, it’s been decades since you can use “personal protection” as a reason to own a firearm in Finland. It must be “Sport Shooting” or “Hunting”. Being caught with a firearm while not conducting one of these events can cost you your license.

Sound like the USA? Take another look at the tiny homicide rates in Norway and Finland, it’s because they have taken strong common sense gun safety measures seriously.

@CT-Patriot, compared to the common sense gun laws I’ve just outlined, there is simply no such thing as “strict” gun laws currently in the USA. When there are SO MANY guns in circulation, there’s not a city in the nation where you can’t obtain a gun easily and quickly. Lemme guess, you want to talk Chicago? Ask the Chicago police about the industry of gun sellers who prey on Chicago thugs. Gun sellers who simply go to a gun show or down south to get their wares and a quick drive back to Chicago streets and “Open for Business.”

Here’s the surprising thing I know you’ll be tickled over: despite Chicago’s horrific homicide rate, there are currently SIX Red States with higher homicide rates than Illinois. Yet, nobody talks about that. Funny, right?

Instead of being stuck in your left/right silos I’d suggest doing a bit more basic homework. The data doesn’t lie.

Norwalk Republican June 15, 2022 at 10:43 pm

@Peter Franz

CT-Patriot’s point still stands. Democratic states have the most strict gun laws, and have the most abhorrent shootings. So, if you’re concerned about the shootings, talk to the Democrat policy makers. What is it that is happening in those states that leads to such horrid things?

You also failed to point out the raw #s of firearms…

USA: Registered firearms: 1,073,743 Unregistered firearms: 392,273,257

Finland: Registered firearms: 1,542,396 Unregistered firearms: 250,604

Norway: Registered firearms: 1,254,638 Unregistered firearms: 282,362

Tell me why so many Democrat states top the list with the most school shootings?

States With the Most School Shootings
Number of school shootings with at least one victim killed or wounded, since 1970:

State , Incidents, Incident Rank
California 157 1
Texas 126 2 2
Illinois 84 3
Florida 74 4 3
Michigan 66 5
Ohio 57 6 7
Pennsylvania 56 7
New York 53 8
Maryland 49 9
Tennessee 45 10
Louisiana 39 11 (Tie)
Alabama 39 11 (Tie)
Georgia 39 11 (Tie)
North Carolina 36 14
Missouri 35 15

George June 15, 2022 at 10:51 pm

@Peter Franz

If you want to give up your Constitutional right to have a gun for protection (from criminals, from tyrannical government), then do you. I know the crime rates in America and I’ll do me (this includes crimes not involving a gun). DO NOT tread on my rights because you feel uncomfortable with the average law abiding person having a gun.

I quote you:
“In Norway for example you need to have a documented reason filed with the police in order to own a gun. These reasons fall into two categories: sport shooting and hunting. You must take and pass a 9 hour gun safety course and proof you have taken part in 15 sport shooting events at an approved club before your gun purchase is approved. Also the gun may never leave the house loaded. Also it must be locked in a safe very specifically at home “

^^ America and Norway and Finland have different cultures. And America has more crime. Guns and gun laws are not to blame, the culture and people are to blame. Do you really think criminals (in America) will follow everything you listed for Norway? Your argument sounds like Beto O Rourke: “People will follow the law”

Seriously? Sorry but thats a bit naive.

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