Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a leading gun control advocate in the Senate involved in recent bipartisan talks on the issue, said on Sunday that he is “more confident than ever” that a gun deal could be reached after a string of recent mass shootings.
A group of senators from both parties has been meeting about legislation to curb gun violence ever since a mass shooting killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month. The group, which includes nearly a dozen senators, has met at least four times.
When asked by CNN “State of the Union” co-anchor Jake Tapper if this is a “do-or-die” week for the potential package, Murphy expressed optimism that the group spearheading the talks could soon reach a framework.
“I think, this week, we need to have concepts to present to our colleagues,” Murphy said.
“I don’t know that we’re going to vote this coming week, but we need to make decisions on whether or not we have a sustainable package in the next five days,” he added.
Murphy said the talks are focused on mental health funding, school safety measures, background checks and red-flag legislation.
Any such package would have to survive a filibuster, the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for most legislation. Gun control measures in years past have largely failed to pass the upper chamber.
“I’m more confident than ever that we’re going to get there, but I’m also more anxious about failure this time around,” Murphy said.
Murphy also said he has talked to the White House “every single day” about the negotiations, but said the Senate needed to “do this ourselves.”
President Biden last week pledged to meet with lawmakers about enacting gun legislation in response to recent mass shootings, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated at a briefing later that day that Biden would keep some distance from the negotiations to allow them to play out.