Sen. Chris Murphy on Sunday suggested withholding federal funds from law enforcement agencies that refuse to enforce state and national gun laws in the wake of mass shootings in Colorado and Virginia.
Murphy (D-Conn.), a strong advocate for gun control laws and a ban on assault weapons, said the Senate needs to have a conversation about funding law enforcement that are reluctant to implement gun laws in “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
“They decided that they would basically refuse to implement the current laws. It’s a growing problem in this country,” Murphy said on CNN. “State of the Union.”
“And I think we’re going to have to have a conversation about that in the United States Senate. Do we want to continue providing funding to law enforcement in counties that refuse to enforce state and federal gun laws? he said.
El Paso County, Co., where a man with an assault weapon killed five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub on November 19, is a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary, and authorities have refused to prosecute a “red flag” against the accused gunman following an earlier incident involving his mother.
Chesapeake, Va., the scene of the Nov. 22 mass shooting at a Walmart in which six employees were shot by a manager at the big-box store, is also a Second Amendment sanctuary.
President Biden told reporters last week he would seek an assault weapons ban before the new Congress meets after the first of the year, saying he was “fed up with these shootings.”
“The idea that we still allow the purchase of semi-automatic weapons is sick. It’s just sick. It has no redeeming social value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary justification for it except profit for gun makers,” Biden said while visiting first responders at the Nantucket Fire Department on Thanksgiving Day in Massachusetts.
But Murphy said he doesn’t think there are 60 votes in the Senate to ban assault weapons.
“I’m glad President Biden is pushing us to vote on an assault weapons ban,” he said on CNN.
“The House has already passed it. He sits before the Senate. Does he have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not. But let’s see if we can try to get that number as close to 60 as possible. If we don’t have the votes then we’ll talk to [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and maybe come back next year, maybe with an extra senator, and see if we can do better,” he said.
New York Post