Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a top gun-control advocate, dismissed on Sunday the possibility that lawmakers will pass new gun-control legislation before Republicans take control of the House in January.
What is the background?
After two mass shootings last week, President Joe Biden demanded that Congress pass "stricter gun control" laws before the new Congress convenes in January.
"The idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It's just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers," Biden said on Friday.
He also confirmed that he is "going to try to get rid of assault weapons" during the lame-duck session in Congress.
But what did Murphy say?
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Murphy admitted an assault weapons ban passed by the House is unlikely to pass the Senate.
"I'm glad that President Biden is going to be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban. The House has already passed it. It's sitting in front of the Senate," Murphy began.
"Does it have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not," he explained.
"But let's see if we can try to get that number as close to 60 as possible," the senator continued. "If we don't have the votes, then we will talk to [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and maybe come back next year with maybe an additional senator and see if we can do better."
Murphy also suggested the federal government should punish so-called "Second Amendment sanctuary" localities.
"They have decided that they are going to essentially refuse to implement laws that are on the books. That is a growing problem in this country," Murphy claimed. "And I think we’re gonna have to have a conversation about that in the United States Senate. Do we want to continue to supply funding to law enforcement in counties that refuse to implement state and federal gun laws?"
Second Amendment sanctuary states and cities, however, generally have not vowed to outright ignore laws.
Rather, they have simply passed resolutions vowing to protect the Second Amendment and not enforce controversial gun control measures whose constitutionality, and thus legality, is disputed. Indeed, promising to enforce Second Amendment rights is enforcing the law.