How have Republicans responded to Biden’s gun reform proposals?
President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass gun safety measures last week following deadly shootings in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, NY and elsewhere, but he will need Republican support if he wants something is happening.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Is confident lawmakers can do something now because “there are more Republicans at the table talking about changing our gun laws, investing in mental health anytime since Sandy Hook,” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I think the model in Florida is the right one,” Murphy said of the bipartisan measures that were enacted there after the Parkland shooting. “Make big investments in mental health, money for school safety, and small but impactful changes to gun laws.”
“It’s the kind of package that I think the Senate can pass,” Murphy said.
Murphy is in bipartisan talks with lawmakers, including Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Cornyn told the New York Times that anything they propose “must be progressive,” and Biden’s proposed measures, including a federal ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, and increasing the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old are off the table. Cornyn said the group is exploring the possibility of allowing juvenile records to be available during a background check.
Cornyn has the support of more than 250 Republican donors and self-described gun enthusiasts who signed an open letter published Sunday in the Dallas Morning News encouraging the senator. The letter called for expanding background checks, enacting red flag laws and raising the minimum age to purchase a gun.
“Most law enforcement experts believe these measures would make a difference,” the letter read. “And recent polls of fellow Tories suggest there is strong support for such gun safety measures.”
Cornyn’s fellow Republican from Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lambasted Biden’s proposals, tweeting that he “has chosen to double down on hard left divisive politics,” while the National Rifle Association has called Biden’s response “not real leadership” in a statement.
“[I]Instead of acting on working measures and real solutions that, when implemented, will reduce crime and help those with dangerous behavioral health issues, everything the President is repeatedly proposing will only violate the rights of law-abiding people who have never, and never will, commit a crime,” the NRA said. “That’s not a real solution, that’s not real leadership, and that’s not what America needs.”