DANBURY, Conn. — Connecticut’s two Democratic Senators signaled Thursday that an assault weapons ban is unlikely to be taken up in Congress when legislative measures to curb gun violence are introduced as early as next month.Both Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal were evasive about their hopes for a ban on assault weapons being part of a package — at least for now.
“I think this is a marathon, not a sprint,” Blumenthal told Business Insider after a gun violence event with Vice President Joe Biden here at Western Connecticut State University.
“I think there are parts that should be proposed initially, and then there are parts that should be proposed down the road.”
Blumenthal wouldn’t say whether that applied to an assault weapons ban, a key element of Obama’s plan outlined last month. But both Blumenthal and Murphy mentioned that this assault weapons ban could follow the similar lengthy process as the one signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994.
“I understand that the assault weapons ban is the toughest part of the package to propose,” Murphy told BI. “But that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop pushing for it. The assault weapons ban was not passed when it was first proposed in the 1990s.
“Even if we don’t get it passed this time — listen, we’re going to pass it during my time in the United States Senate,” Murphy added. “And I’ll keep on working on it.”
Both Senators sounded much more optimistic about legislation to increase background checks, including potentially closing the so-called “gun show loophole” that allows some private sales to be completed without background checks.
When asked what measures had enough votes to pass through Congress, Blumenthal only mentioned background checks, saying that bipartisan negotiations on that issue were “close to success.” He did not mention an assault weapons ban or a potential ban on high-capacity magazines.
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