Though Congress has repeatedly failed to enact gun reform, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), one of the leading voices for gun control in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in his state in 2012, predicted on Tuesday night that this time will be different after the recent shootings in Colorado and Georgia.
Murphy told CNN that he believed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to bring background checks to a vote while as the chamber’s majority leader because he was “afraid” there would be 60 votes to pass the legislation, enough to bypass its main roadblock: the Senate filibuster.
Many GOP senators are faced with the choice between a majority of their constituents supporting background checks and “the declining power of the gun lobby,” Murphy said.
He asserted that those senators would side with the constituents.
“I’ve been talking with Republicans all day. We’re going to see if we can get something to the floor that will get 60 votes,” the Democratic senator said.
“But don’t count us out,” he added. “Just because we’ve failed in the past doesn’t mean we’ll fail this year. A lot of things have changed.”
The House’s recently passed legislation on expanding background checks faces an uphill climb thanks to the filibuster, which requires 10 Republican senators to side with all 50 of their Democratic colleagues.
And not all of those Democrats are on board with the legislation either: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said on Tuesday that he doesn’t support the House’s bills “at all.”
Still, Congress faces increasing pressure to take action on gun violence after one shooter killed eight people in three spas in the Atlanta, Georgia area last week, followed by another shooting in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that led to ten deaths on Monday.
Watch Murphy below:
Sen. Chris Murphy expresses hope that Congress will pass gun reform: "Just because we’ve failed in the past doesn't mean we’ll fail this year. A lot of things have changed.” pic.twitter.com/ez5wA1ldm6
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 24, 2021