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CT’s senior senator to discuss Senate’s gun reform snag

Democrats and Republicans are struggling to work out their differences over who should be kept from getting a gun.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:22 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 7:02 AM EDT
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NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - The future of the first major federal gun control bill in nearly 30 years appears to have hit a snag.

Democrats and Republicans are struggling to work out their differences over who should be kept from getting a gun, and there’s concern the bill won’t be ready for a vote next week.

An update on where the negotiations stand is expected on Friday from Sen. Richard Blumenthal at the Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain.

He’ll go through the details of the much-debated legislation.

Blumenthal said access to firearms for those with mental health concerns is one of the sticking points keeping senators from reaching a deal.

Senators on Capitol Hill paused their negotiations on the federal gun reform bill for the weekend.

It was a critical time to pause as a community in Alabama became the latest to experience a shooting on Thursday.

“A lone suspect entered a small group church meeting and began shooting,” said Capt. Shane Ware, Vestavia Hills police.

Two people were killed, and one was injured.

For a nation still reeling from several recent mass shootings, it was another reminder for lawmakers that the problem won’t going away.

One place where senators struggled to find common ground: Whether states have to spend red flag law funding on red flag laws.

The law would prevent people considered a danger to themselves and others from accessing firearms.

Another point of contention was over a so-called “boyfriend” loophole, which would prevent an unmarried partner from owning a gun if found guilty of abusing someone they’re dating.

“What I think they’re trying to work through is it’s easy to say that what the definition of that the boyfriend/girlfriend would be, how far back the the relationship had to go to make sure that you could still call somebody out for potential abuse,” said Sen. Mark Warner, Democrat, Virginia.

The bill’s framework has enough Republican support to pass the Senate but failing to agree to details could jeopardize lawmakers’ goal of voting before the July 4 recess.

“We cannot go back home over the course of July 4 and tell people that once again we let politics get in the way of getting something done,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat. “So, I think we’re going to be able to wrap this up and get these final issues settled.”

Blumenthal’s news conference is set to happen at noon.

The future of the first major federal gun control bill in nearly 30 years appears to have hit a snag.