Sen. Murphy: 'This feels different' in Senate gun control negotiations

Sen. Chris Murphy met with top Republicans on Tuesday, hoping to craft a gun control compromise after the Texas school shooting. But for a deal to pass, both sides will have to accept elements they don't like.
"I'm willing to get uncomfortable in these conversations and support things that, you know, I may have been previously unwilling to support," Murphy said.
According to Murphy, a complete assault weapons ban similar to the one Connecticut passed after Sandy Hook is off the table. But GOP senators may be open to tougher background checks.
"There are limitations under federal law of what sort of firearms you can buy and own and maintain, if you have a criminal or mental health record," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). "And we'll be looking at all of that."
Both sides are also discussing a national Red Flag Law, which allows judges to determine if someone is a danger and temporarily hold their guns. In Connecticut, Norwalk police used the law to seize a large cache of weapons from a teen who "showed interest" in mass shootings.
In 2021, Connecticut lawmakers expanded the Red Flag Law to let a wider circle of people apply for protection, including doctors and roommates. They can now apply directly to judges as well, instead of having to go through police.
But in Washington, Republican support comes with conditions. Murphy said they're seeking more mental health funding, money to physically harden schools' infrastructure, and more armed police in schools – something that's traditionally been a non-starter for Democrats.
Meantime, the House Judiciary Committee is holding an emergency hearing Thursday on the "Protecting Our Kids Act." It would raise the age to buy an assault rifle to 21, as well as ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks – two laws already on the books in Connecticut. The bill also requires universal background checks -- even for private sales. Additionally, it creates a national version of Connecticut's "Ethan's Law" for safe firearm storage. It's named after a Guilford teen who accidentally shot himself with an unsecured firearm at a friend's house.
Some Republicans say the compromises go too far.
"The people who are least likely to adhere to universal background check are the criminals who intend harm," said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). "It's an outcome problem. I don't think they would have the outcome people think they would have."
The House previously passed a background check bill, but the Senate has never voted on it.
Murphy said Republicans have one week to reach a deal or Democrats plan to vote on a gun control plan.
"Make no mistake. We are going to have a debate in the United States Senate. We are going to take votes in the United States Senate," he said.
Mark Barden lost his son Daniel in Newtown and later founded the gun violence group Sandy Hook Promise. After 10 years, he's willing to take the best deal he can get.
"No parent should ever have to live this pain," he said. "Can we start this conversation with, 'We all want to protect our children'? We all want our communities to be safer?'"