Jun 18, 2013
08:26 PM
Connecticut Politics

Blumenthal, Murphy Renew Call for Federal Gun Control Measures

Blumenthal, Murphy Renew Call for Federal Gun Control Measures

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

This file photo of Vice President Joe Biden was taken at Girard College in Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, after a round table discussion on gun control with elected and law enforcement officials.

Those who stand in the way of gun control legislation are only perpetuating a problem—and will be politically damned for it, Connecticut’s U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday on the heels of similar remarks by Vice President Joe Biden.
“A political price is going to be paid [by those] who vote against gun violence measures,” Blumenthal said in a phone conference Tuesday. “There will be a political price in this election.”
With the potential for a second vote on what the senators described as a “slightly amended” gun control vote, Blumenthal said Congress’ inaction this far on gun legislation is “inexcusable and unconscionable” and has aided and abetted gun violence.
Blumenthal and Murphy, both Democrats, spoke to reporters Tuesday following remarks from Biden, who renewed the call for gun legislation to be passed by Congress, and also spoke of the success of 21 of 23 executive actions by President Barack Obama to reduce gun violence. Biden said the president will do what it is in his power to prevent gun violence, but Congress also needs to act.
“We have not given up,” Biden said during his speech at the White House. He said others, like the president, members of his cabinet, and other legislators were not giving up. Among legislators he mentioned by name were Blumenthal as well as Connecticut House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden.
“I just wish we had the success you had up in Connecticut with your governor and with your legislature,” Biden said of the gun control legislation passed with bipartisan support in the General Assembly in April.
The remarks came six months after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 students and six educators dead, and three months after a bipartisan gun control bill failed in the Senate.
April’s bill failed in the Senate because Democrats only garnered 54 votes, instead of the necessary 60. Blumenthal and Murphy said they are meeting with five or six senators regarding the bill, but would not make huge concessions in the legislation to get it passed. The bill calls for universal background checks for gun sales.
“[W]e are not going to make major changes to this bill….they have to come to a new realization about the political consequences of standing in the way of a vast majority of the public,” Murphy said.
Biden was optimistic gun control legislation will be passed by Congress, as were Blumenthal and Murphy, though Blumenthal said the vote likely wouldn’t happen until after the summer.
“It has taken a couple months for senators to wake up to the fact that there is now a price to pay for standing with the NRA [and] against the majority of your constituents,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the NRA used to “get away with” pressuring members to vote against the wishes of their constituents, but “that day is over.”
While Murphy said it is good the White House is out front on the issue, it’s going to take pressure from constituents to change Congress’ mind.
Biden said the political price those who voted against gun control legislation is already apparent, as their poling numbers have dropped among constituents.
“The country has changed. You will pay a price, a political price for not for not getting engaged and dealing with gun safety,” he said.
Blumenthal, Murphy Renew Call for Federal Gun Control Measures

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