Congressmen say gun-safety is getting closer

June 24, 2016

HARTFORD — Back from their history-making attempt to force Republican majorities to act on gun safety, Connecticut’s legislative delegation on Friday said they believe that change is finally on the way.

After last week’s near-record filibuster by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and an unprecedented Democratic sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, state lawmakers said that between the Orlando massacre and the upcoming elections, Republicans who control both chambers are starting to listen to their constituents around the nation, who overwhelmingly favor gun control.

“At some level it is patently ridiculous that we have had to launch a filibuster and a sit-in to move the United States Congress forward on stopping criminals and terrorists from getting guns,” Murphy told reporters in the Legislative Office Building. But Republicans and Democrats in both chambers are now talking more seriously about keeping those on no-fly lists from obtaining firearms and expanding background checks.

“I believe that five years from now, we are going to look back on the last 10 days as a watershed moment in the history of the anti-gun-violence movement,” Murphy said.

“More Republicans in the Senate broke with the gun lobby, this week, than in the modern history of the anti-gun-violence movement,” Murphy said. Murphy, who stood for 15 hours last week, holding up Senate business, said that while the 60 votes needed to change the 100-member Senate aren’t yet there, Congress may finally be on the cusp of change.

“The complicity of Congress must end,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, stressing that international terrorism is playing as big role in lessening the grip that lobbyists for the National Rifle Association have on Washington. “Over the last two weeks America has reached a boiling point of frustration.

Backed by gun-safety advocates, who cheered their arrival in a Capitol-complex meeting room, Blumenthal and Murphy were joined by U.S. Reps Elizabeth Esty, Rosa DeLauro and John Larson during an hour-long news conference.