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Improved background checks on the table in bipartisan Senate gun talks


Discussions in small groups are fluid and no final decision has been made. But if successful, such an idea would amount to the most substantial background check expansion in decades. In the equally divided Senate, such a proposal would require the support of at least 10 Republican senators, a high bar that members of the gun safety group still believe could be achievable.

“Time is their biggest enemy, because there are so many other issues that the public cares about,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said in a recent interview. “There’s the fall election rush, there’s the natural difficulty of passing any compromise legislation in the Senate, and there’s the distraction of a lot of other issues.”

The group is also seeking to provide states with more resources to put in place so-called red flag laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from anyone deemed a threat to themselves or others. . Lawmakers are also discussing how much money to provide for new mental health programs and to increase school safety.

Other senators participate in the talks. A larger group includes Murphy, Sinema, Manchin and Toomey as well as Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Martin Heinrich (DN.M.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). The Democratic caucus and Republican conference will hold broader discussions on the topic beginning Tuesday.

Murphy suggested over the weekend on CNN that the band needed to make a decision “within the next five days” on whether or not a package would be possible. The urgency to act often wanes on Capitol Hill as memories fade during recent shootings, and it has been nearly two weeks since the shooting of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.


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