Murphy: Universal Background Checks Should Be Gun Control’s ‘North Star’

Andrew Harnik/AP

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said Sunday that universal background checks “should be” the next step for gun control after restricting or banning the sale of bump stocks, devices that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate comparable to fully automatic weaponry and which were found in the alleged Las Vegas gunman’s hotel room.

“This is really, you know, one of the most unique issues in American politics, where you do have broad agreement on some of these measures, like universal background checks, and you can’t get them passed through Congress,” Murphy said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I ultimately don’t think democracy allows for that for very long.”

“You said earlier that you would be willing to allow a clean bill in Congress that bans or regulates bump stocks without requiring more, broader gun control to be attached to the bill,” Jake Tapper said. “Is universal background checks, closing the so-called gun show loophole, requiring background checks for private sales, is that the next step for people in your philosophical camp and Senate?”

“It should be the next step, in large part because it is the most popularly accepted change. And it has the biggest effect,” Murphy said. “So yes, that would be the clear next step. That should be our North Star as we try to figure out how to proceed.”

“I think one of the traps that the gun lobby wants you to get into is being able to only talk about a legislative intervention that would have addressed the last mass shooting,” he added. “On that day that that shooter turned those guns on civilians in Las Vegas, 80 people died in other parts of the country. Many of those deaths could have been prevented by background checks.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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