Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who led bipartisan talks in the Senate on gun control legislation, said more Republicans were at the table to work on changing gun laws to fire and invest in sanity that “anytime since Sandy Hook.”
“I have never been involved in negotiations as serious as these,” he said Sunday in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union”.
“We are talking about a significant change in our gun laws, a major investment in mental health, maybe a little school safety money that would make a difference. On the table are red flag laws, changes to our background check system to improve the existing system, a handful of other things that will make a difference,” he said.
Murphy told CNN on Friday that there are still a lot of “outstanding” issues that still need to be resolved, including whether to raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21.
“I don’t know yet if there’s enough support to get 60 votes on this,” Murphy said of the increased purchase age. “There are a lot of outstanding questions that we will have to answer next week.”
Murphy, who has been a strong gun control advocate since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., met with senators about potential changes to current gun laws following a series of mass shootings, including last month’s violence. by armed teenagers in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Senator Chris Murphy speaks during a rally with other Senate Democrats and gun control advocacy groups outside the US Capitol on May 26 in Washington, DC (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)
Murphy said Sunday that the group’s discussions had gone on around the clock, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) giving him until the end of this week to find a compromise.
“Just last night we were engaged in conversations about trying to put a package together. I think Republicans realize how scared parents and children across the country are. I think they realize this time can’t be nothing,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was hired by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead his party’s negotiations, told Politico that if the Senate cannot agree on a legislative response after the recent shooting in Texas, “this be embarrassing.
A man is comforted by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer during a memorial outside Robb Elementary School Friday in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo: via Associated Press)
“It would fuel the narrative that we can’t get things done in the public interest,” he said.
Cornyn, in an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday, said the shooting “gave us a sense of urgency that we may not have had in the past.”
He said he was “not naive” but rather “hopeful”.
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of the group’s GOP members, also expressed optimism about their progress on Wednesday.
“We are moving quickly toward a common-sense package that could garner support from Republicans and Democrats alike,” Collins said in a statement.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.