Dems see hope for gun-safety laws, but deadlock may lie ahead

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Democrats in Congress sounded the alarm on gun safety over the weekend, but Republican opposition to gun-safety measures suggests a deadlock ahead.

The horrific shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., have created an opening for gun-safety legislation to pass, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Every single time after one of these mass shootings, there’s talks in Washington, and they never succeed. But there are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a path forward this time than I have ever seen since Sandy Hook,” Murphy said, referring to the 2012 massacre that claimed 26 lives at a Connecticut elementary school.

The senator, who has been conducting bipartisan talks on the issue, said he hopes for progress on more background checks for gun purchases, safe-storage requirements for firearms and “red flag” laws that would bar sales to people with mental health problems, among other measures.

“We’ve got a short time frame,” Murphy said. “We’ve got to get this ready for Congress when Congress reconvenes in about a week. But I think we can do it.”

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri voiced skepticism about “red-flag” legislation.

“I’m very open to more red flag opportunities — though nobody has a stronger red flag than New York, I don’t think, and they just had an equally horrendous event,” Blunt, an ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told Politico.

In recent days, GOP leaders have emphasized proposals to “harden” schools against attacks while shying away from gun-safety measures.

“When 9/11 happened, we didn’t ban planes. We secured the cockpits,” Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said Thursday.

After the massacre in Texas, the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott blamed mental health problems rather than guns.

In response, a local Democratic lawmaker suggested taking a protest stance.

“If I do nothing for the rest of my career but yell at Greg Abbott and others that are not willing to listen, then that’s what I’m going to do,” Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We must have change.”