Senators debate red flag law grants after Texas shooting

“We are under no illusions that this will be easy. We have been burned in the past when Republicans promised to debate only for them to break their promise,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in floor remarks Thursday. “But even with long odds, the issue is so important, so raw to the American people, so personal to countless families who have missing children, that we must pursue that opportunity.”

Schumer said Murphy, Blumenthal and other Democrats, including Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, are holding talks with Republicans on potential solutions, but they’re not willing to negotiate indefinitely. 

“If these negotiations do not bear any fruit, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation when we return” from Memorial Day recess, Schumer said.

Murphy hosted meetings with senators in the Capitol on Thursday and said he plans to continue the negotiations over the break. While he sought to avoid predicting what legislative proposals, if any, would be successful, he confirmed the bipartisan interest in incentivizing states to implement red flag laws. 

“The red flag laws are better administered at the state level. There have been some proposals for federal court red flag laws. I’m not sure that that’s the way to go,” Murphy said. “So I have no problem incentivizing state red flag laws. … Those systems aren’t cheap to implement but they are frequently used.”