Senate is divided on gun control proposals - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Senate is divided on gun control proposals

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Chris Murphy at the Senate hearing on Monday. (CBS Newspath) Chris Murphy at the Senate hearing on Monday. (CBS Newspath)

Senators on both sides of the aisle failed to reach a compromise on gun control legislation on Monday.

The lawmakers voted on four firearms proposals but none of the plans gained enough support to pass.

The debate has been spurred on by the tragedy in Orlando, but eight days later, leaders don’t appear any closer to compromise.

Republicans and democrats shot down competing proposals aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists.

Republicans defeated democratic plans to expand background checks on firearms bought online and at gun shows, and a proposal that would have stopped people on the “no-fly” list and terrorist watch-list from buying guns.

"I don't think democracy allows this Congress to be out of step with the American public for very long,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said.

Democrats stopped republican proposals that would have required a court order showing probable cause to block the sale of a gun, and a plan that would allow people with mental illnesses to challenge their diagnosis in order to buy a gun.

"The other side says they support second amendments rights. We have every reason not to believe them,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

As the debate rages on in Washington, people in Connecticut are just as divided.

"I think part of the problem is not the weapons, it's the organization that's trying to protect the people and make them think that the government wants to take away their weapons and that's the NRA,” said Dean Farnsworth of Middletown.

People on both sides of the aisle admit the debate is far from over.

The next proposal that may come up for a vote is a compromise from Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, which would ban people on the no-fly list from buying guns, but not the terrorist watch-list as a whole.

In a statement, Murphy said “Today's votes would never have occurred were it not for the loud voices of the American people echoing through the halls of the Capitol last week. After the deadliest shooting in American history, Senate Republicans weren't even going to discuss, let alone vote on, measures to stop this endless mass murder enveloping our country. So on Wednesday, I took a stand with nearly 40 of my colleagues to demand that Congress do something - anything - to stop the slaughter of innocent victims of gun violence. Millions of Americans engaged in the debate and made their voices heard. I'm disappointed by the results tonight, but far from surprised. We knew breaking the NRA's stranglehold on this Congress would be a long, uphill climb. The fact is Americans want a background check system that prevents dangerous people and terrorists from getting their hands on guns. It will take time, but I firmly believe that our democracy does not allow a Congress to be this far out-of-step with the views and values of the people for very long. This country is rising up to demand stronger, safer gun laws, and in the fact of unspeakable tragedy, our movement for change got stronger this week."

In a statement, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said "I'm urging Congress to pass necessary, common sense gun laws today. As a nation, we continue to see tragedies mount as easy access to military-style weapons allows sick and evil individuals to inflict more pain than anyone should be capable of inflicting. The majority of Americans support background checks for gun shows, expansion of the federal background check database, banning gun sales to people on the federal no-fly watch list, and making it harder to buy assault weapons. Connecticut is grateful for the leadership of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and the rest of our congressional delegation who have been strong, consistent advocates for common-sense gun reform, and it's time their colleagues step forward and join them. Enough is enough. We need Congress to pass these bills."

Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement “When it comes to guns, Connecticut continues to lead time and time again.  On a day in which the Supreme Court upheld the smartest gun law in the nation here in our state, we see Congressional Republicans in Washington vote down these basic, commonsense amendments to make Americans safer. The senators who voted against this legislation tonight should be ashamed, not only for voting against the vast majority of Americans who overwhelmingly support these commonsense policies, but also for putting their own interests before safety.  It's simple - everyone should have to pass a background check, and if a person is on a watch list because of suspected terrorist activities and cannot board an airplane, then we should not be selling them military-style assault weapons. Enough is enough. Yet, this Republican Congress has again failed to act and has stood in the way of meaningful, commonsense steps to make us safer. It is as discouraging as it is baffling. I applaud Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal, and our entire federal delegation for helping us get to this point.  While the vote is disappointing, the fact that there even were votes on commonsense gun safety proposals is due directly to their leadership."

Lt. Governor Wyman said, "Connecticut, under Governor Malloy's leadership and with solid public support, has taken a strong stand on gun violence and public safety.  As a state, we've come together - first in grief, and then resolute that we would meaningfully strengthen anti-violence initiatives.  It is long since time that Congressional Republicans show the same strength of character and the same respect for the American public by enacting common sense gun reforms. I applaud Senator Murphy and Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Larson, Congresswoman DeLauro, Congressman Himes, Congressman Courtney, and Congresswoman Esty for their commitment to all of our citizens."

In a statement, Congressman John Larson said "Enough is enough. Congress must finally take a stand against the tyranny of special interests like the NRA and its gang of lobbyists. Americans are dying, but Congress still refuses to act. Sens. Murphy and Blumenthal took a courageous stand last week, and I commend them for bringing Democrats and Republicans together for a vote-but that is not enough. We need real action, not halfhearted appeasements by Republican leadership meant to end a filibuster. Gun violence is a cancer that Congress refuses to treat. We have witnessed over a thousand mass shootings since Sandy Hook. We mourn friends and neighbors who continue to die in shootings that may not make the national papers, but leave communities in pieces all the same. Congress can no longer look away. At least the Senate has held procedural votes on this issue, but the House remains silent. The House's inaction is sickening, and I will continue to press for a vote on meaningful reforms to end the violence."

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