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Democratic Senator's Admission Dumps Cold Water on Joe Biden's Gun Control Agenda--For Now

President Joe Biden has long been calling for a ban against so-called "assault weapons," which he just doubled down on this holiday weekend, causing quite a concern with his language for those who care about the Second Amendment. Democratic senators, however, are a bit wiser on the likelihood of such sweeping legislation passing that chamber. During his Sunday appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) admitted to host Dana Bash that when it comes to whether they have currently the votes to pass such a ban, the answer is "probably not."


"He wants to pass a so-called assault weapons ban in this lame-duck next month. You know the math on how difficult that is better than most people. You have been working on this for a long time. Is there any path to getting that done," Bash  asked Murphy, referring to Biden and his priorities. 

Murphy's acknowledgment of "probably not" refers to whether or not the ban has those 60 votes in the Senate "right now." That doesn't mean he's given up for good, though. "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 will talk to Senator Schumer and maybe come back next year with maybe an additional senator and see if we can do better," he offered.

Come next Congress, Democrats will still be in the majority, with at least 50 senators who are Democrats or caucus with the Democrats, in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. It's possible they'll expand their majority, if Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) holds onto his seat against Republican opponent Herschel Walker, with the runoff election coming on December 6. 

Bash also pressed Murphy as to if there's "any action on guns that's possible," or whether they will keep pushing for this ban, to which Murphy reminded her that was the legislation that passed the House and is now before the Senate. 


The senator claimed "we would see less mass shootings in this country" with such a ban, and also downplayed concerns with the legislation, offering "nobody's talking about taking those weapons away from individuals, we're just talking about stopping new sales. "

When Bash to her credit did push Murphy on how criminals don't follow laws, as the shooter at the Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, used an illegally-purchased handgun, Murphy was forced to admit that "if you pass an assault weapons ban, you're not going to magically eliminate mass shootings in this country."

He did tout the 1994 ban on such "assault weapons," as Biden has done. As Mia covered in early September, after the president also made remarks on August 30 calling for such a ban, the ban was not as successful as he claims it had been. 

Sen. Murphy was a big part of negotiations to pass gun control laws, laws which, as Bash pointed out, did not actually stop the recent shootings in Colorado and Virginia. 

Murphy did begin his conversation with Bash by praising the president on the issue, including when it comes to that legislation. "Well, first, let me say, the president's been heroic in standing up for victims of gun violence. We passed the first gun safety measure in 30 years this summer. It's going to save thousands of lives. And that wouldn't have happened if Joe Biden hadn't led," Murphy said. The senator also categorized Biden's recent remarks as how "he stood up and spoke his mind, as he did this weekend."


When speaking specifically about the law incentivizing states to pass red flag laws, with Bash pointing out that Colorado and Virginia already had them in place, Murphy offered "I think it's important to know that the bill that we passed is being implemented as we speak. But it takes a little while for these big, complicated laws to be put into place."

He went on to blame law enforcement in Colorado, referring to as a "so-called Second Amendment sanctuary state," where gun control laws are not enforced. "That is a growing problem in this country," Murphy warned, who went on to threaten further action.

"And I think we're going to 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? Red flag laws are wildly popular, right? You're just temporarily taking guns away from people that," he claimed.

When asked by Bash if that means Murphy "want[s] to withhold money for law enforcement," the senator did not deny it. "I think we have to have a conversation about whether we can continue to fund law enforcement in states where they are refusing to implement these gun laws," he said. "I will talk to my colleagues about what our approach should be this problem, but 60 percent of counties in this country are refusing to implement the nation's gun laws. We have got to do something about that," he again warned. 


So much for Democrats trying to claim they don't actually want to defund the police. It looks like Murphy may have dumped cold water on yet another Biden administration talking point, inadvertently or not.

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