Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut suggested Sunday that Congress should consider withholding federal funds from police departments that don’t enforce existing gun control laws.
It comes after 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club earlier this month, killing five people and wounding dozens more in what prosecutors say was a possible bias-motivated attack.
That mass shooting and another at a Virginia Walmart in the same week have spurred new calls to ban assault weapons, reaching as far as President Joe Biden himself.
But the Senate likely won’t have the 60 votes needed to pass such legislation, Murphy admitted to CNN’s State Of The Union. But he remained hopeful that the next Congress could have enough support.
“I’m glad President Biden is pushing us to vote on an assault weapons ban. The House has already passed it. He is sitting in front of the Senate. Do you have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not,” Murphy said.
‘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’ll talk to Senator Schumer and maybe come back next year with maybe an additional senator and see if we can do better.’
But gun control advocates question how many more lives will be taken before such a ban is passed and urge lawmakers to find a better solution.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has been a prominent gun control advocate since he was elected to Congress, where he first served in the House district where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place.
Murphy, who served in the House representing the district where the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting occurred, was instrumental in a bipartisan gun control and school safety package passed after 19 elementary school students and two teachers were killed. in Uvalde, Texas, last May.
But activists have complained that existing red flag laws, put in place to prevent potentially dangerous people from acquiring firearms, in Virginia and Colorado have failed to stop any of the recent killings.
Sheriffs in El Paso County, where the Colorado Springs shooting took place, had previously dubbed their jurisdiction a “Second Amendment Preservation County” and refused to enforce the state’s red flag laws, according to AFP.
Murphy suggested going a step further to crack down on police departments that refuse to enforce the law on Sunday, by withholding your federal dollars.
‘Most counties in this country have declared that they will not enforce state and federal gun laws. They have decided that they will essentially refuse to implement the laws that are on the books,” the senator said.
‘Do we want to continue funding law enforcement in counties that refuse to implement state and federal gun laws?’
Flowers, candles and memorabilia are left at a memorial after a mass shooting at the Club Q LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA November 26, 2022. Activists have complained that existing gun laws in Colorado they failed to stop the killing. Local sheriffs previously called the county a Second Amendment haven.
He said 60 percent of US counties refuse to implement existing red flag measures.
“I think we need to have a conversation about whether we can continue to fund law enforcement in states where they refuse to implement these gun laws,” Murphy said.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of killing five people and injuring more than a dozen after opening fire at Club Q on the night of November 19.
The moderate Democrat called the red flag laws “wildly popular” and vowed to take the defunding measure to Capitol Hill.
“I’ll talk to my colleagues about what our approach to this problem should be, but 60 percent of counties in this country refuse to implement the country’s gun laws,” Murphy said.
We have to do something about it.
Biden told reporters in Nantucket, where he spent Thanksgiving, that he would renew attempts to pass an assault weapons ban after the pair of mass shootings later this month.
“The idea that we still allow the purchase of semi-automatic weapons is sick. Just sick,’ the president said during the holidays.
He promised: ‘I’m going to try to get rid of the assault weapons.’
Such a ban passed the Democratic-led House of Representatives in late July by a narrow margin of 217 to 213.
It is virtually unlikely to pass in the evenly divided Senate, and it is unclear how much Democrats would help win one more seat in Georgia’s Dec. 6 runoff election to tip the balance in Congress next year.
Aldrich, the Colorado Springs shooter, is currently in custody on murder and hate crime charges.
Lawyers for the suspect have said Aldrich uses they/them pronouns, but that hasn’t stopped people from calling the massacre a hate crime.
Formerly known as Nicholas Brink, Aldrich is the grandson of a California Republican assemblyman named Rep. Randy Voepel, who has embraced far-right beliefs such as supporting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The shooter’s biological father was recorded by CBS 8 San Diego reacting to the news of the mass murder, appearing to be more concerned that his son was potentially LGBTQ than being charged with murder.
I went on to find out that it is a gay bar. I freaked out, “Shit, is he gay?” And he’s not gay, so I was like, ugh,” Aaron Brink told the local station. I am a conservative republican.