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U.S. senators from both parties must negotiate bipartisan gun legislation without President Biden’s participation, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said on Sunday.
Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, insisted lawmakers strike the deal on their own when asked during a CNN ‘State of the Union’ appearance if it would help if Biden gets involved.
“I think the Senate has to do it on its own,” Murphy said. “I’ve spoken to the White House every day since these negotiations began, but right now the Senate has to manage these negotiations.”
Republicans and Democrats talk about possible changes to gun laws following several mass shootings in recent weeks, including the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children dead and two teachers.
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Murphy described the bipartisan negotiations as the most serious he has ever been involved in, saying, “There are more Republicans around the table talking about changing our gun laws and investing in mental health than anytime since Sandy Hook,” where a gunman killed 20 people. children and six adults in a primary school in 2012.
Murphy said among the Republicans working on the potential bill is Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who he said spoke about reviewing how juvenile records are accessed for young men aged 18. at 21 to ensure that anyone who has ever had trouble with the law is unable to obtain a gun.
On whether the Senate would vote this week on possible gun legislation, Murphy said that while he wasn’t sure if anything would pass, he thinks lawmakers need to have some concepts to present to their colleagues in the coming week.
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“We’re not going to put a bill on the table that will ban assault weapons or pass comprehensive background checks,” Murphy said. “Right now the people of this country want us to make progress, they just don’t want the status quo to continue for another 30 years.”
Despite the promise of bipartisan gun reform, Murphy said he has also been involved in many unsuccessful negotiations in the past, adding that he remains “sober about our chances”.
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