Nation/World

Democrats seek swift action on limited gun-control proposals

U.S. lawmakers are setting a tight timetable to negotiate new gun laws, with Democrats signaling they would accept limited progress in exchange for some action that would reduce gun violence in the nation.

Republicans and Democrats are working through the weekend to prepare a proposal before Congress returns from recess in a week, Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “We’ve got a short time frame.”

Some Republicans are indicating interest in emerging with legislation, spurred by the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

“We’re actually on track to get something done,” Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, said on “This Week.” He said it’s a “no-brainer” to raise the legal age to buy a gun to 21 from 18, but it isn’t clear whether there’s enough support for such measure.

Murphy said that negotiations with Republicans have been “serious” and Democrats are willing to set limits on how far to push. “I’m not going to let the perfect be the enemy to” progress, he said.

Lawmakers are looking at expanding background checks, safe storage for guns and mental health resources.

What we want is “a package that really in the end could have significant downward pressure on gun violence in this nation,” Murphy said.

Authorities identified an 18-year-old man as the Uvalde shooter and said he used a legally bought assault rifle at the school before being fatally shot. President Joe Biden planned to meet with the victims’ families in Uvalde on Sunday.

While Congress has a long history of partisan division and inaction on gun control, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin voiced hope that limited steps, such as so-called “red flag” legislation, might be possible. “I sense a different feeling among my colleagues after Uvalde,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Nation.”

Democrats have repeatedly tried and failed to enact new gun-control measures — such as universal background checks and an assault weapons ban — in the decade since a gunman killed 26 people, most of them first-graders, at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Multiple proposals have been blocked due to opposition from Republicans and a handful of moderate Democrats.

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