Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut make progress as they work out the details of the review. ‘red flag’ legislation That both hope to get enough GOP support to overcome the disruption in the Senate, according to four people familiar with the discussions who were not allowed to speak publicly.
Graham and Blumenthal later confirmed to CBS News that their discussions were making progress.
In recent days, the two have been making frequent phone calls and working closely together to review the “red flag” bill they co-sponsored in 2019, with revisions they believe could enable a similar, revised proposal to win broad support in a divided Senate, he said. The Four Persons for CBS News.
At this point, their updated proposal will focus on creating federal grants to states to create or strengthen “red flag” laws. Red flag law, in most cases nationwide, enables law enforcement officials to temporarily seize firearms from individuals who are perceived as a threat to themselves or other people, if they obtain a court order.
The remaining challenge for Graham and Blumenthal is to craft legislative language on due process and judicial review that doesn’t drive anxious Republicans away, while not seeming to overly water down their initial bill and irritate Democrats.
One person familiar with the discussions said that Graham and Blumenthal are working on provisions that could be acceptable to both parties, particularly when it comes to the timeline between the “extreme danger” court order and a hearing. The scope and type of evidence required are also under discussion.
In the past, the National Rifle Association has not strongly opposed proposed “red flag” laws, but it remains largely against any new gun restrictions.
However, people said both men believed that their efforts on “red flag” laws and their early move toward consensus could emerge as a pivotal part of the final final legislative product of the bipartisan arms talks led by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Republican Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. John Cornyn is from Texas.
Conversations led by Murphy and Cornyn began after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvald, Texaswhich killed 19 children and two adults.
“Lindsey and Richard are collaborating and talking to outside groups about what they’re doing,” one person said. “They were on the phone all weekend and brought in a few people.”
Another person familiar with the discussions said the “confidence” between Graham and Blumenthal was helpful but did not indicate a 60-vote consensus anywhere in sight at this point, whether on red flag legislation or other areas. The person referred to Cornyn as the key senator to be watched by the Republican Party.
Graham and Cornyn are widely seen by colleagues as key allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the longtime Republican leader.
Currently, 19 states enable a judge to disarm a firearm from anyone who poses a significant danger to others or themselves. In Connecticut, for every 10 to 20 firearms removed, lives are saved, According to one study. In California, there have been at least 21 cases when a “red flag” law has disarmed people threatening mass shootings.
On Tuesday, Blumenthal declined to discuss the deliberations or the details of his conversations with Graham. But Blumenthal told CBS News, “Lindsey has been hard at work and in good faith, and we’ve made progress.”
Graham also declined to discuss his private conversations with Blumenthal and others. But he emphasized that progress was being made.
Cornyn and Murphy, as well as Arizona Democratic Senator Kirsten Sinema and North Carolina Republican Senator Tom Telles Gathered more than zoom to discuss possible legislation on guns on Tuesday.
In a statement after that meeting, Cornyn said, “We and Senators Murphy, Cinema and Tellis had a very constructive conversation about the best response to the horrific events in Uvald last week. We have asked our staff to continue working together to address some of the details that we hope will We can discuss it sometime soon.”
On CBS News face the nation Sunday, Murphy, whose state suffered from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a decade ago, said he knows Republicans won’t support everything he does. But “red flag laws are on the table,” as well as expanding background checks and other efforts such as safe gun storage.
Advocates of changes to gun laws have long viewed “red flag” laws as the most viable option in deeply divided Washington.
Dr. Celine Gunder, traveling public health editor for Kaiser Health News, told CBS News that “red flag” laws “reduce the risk of gun violence.” “It might not work 100% of the time, but if you can save a portion of those lives, it will have a real impact.”
This was contributed by Adriana Diaz, Alicia Hastey, Rebecca Kaplan, Kathryn Watson and Andy Wolff.