WASHINGTON- After entering the week touting an in-principal bipartisan agreement that would result in the most restrictive gun control legislation in decades, Senators departed Washington on Thursday with negotiations bogged down as to how to translate the deal into actual legislation.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the lead GOP negotiator, expressed his frustration to reporters as he departed the Capitol basement of lead Democratic negotiator Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut on Thursday.
This is the hardest part because at some point you just to make a decision and when people don’t want to make a decision, you can’t accomplish a result. And that’s kind of where we are right now,” Cornyn said to reporters, as reported in The Hill. “You don’t want to give politicians an unlimited amount of time to talk because they will fill the available space. It’s fish or cut bait.”
According to The Hill, senators initially aimed to introduce legislation on Thursday, as it would have given Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) time to schedule a vote for next week.
Negotiators are held-up on two points, The Hill reported. The first point concerned federal funding for so-called Red Flag Laws, which allow police and citizens to petition courts for guns to be confiscated from anyone deemed a threat to themselves or others. The second point concerned the so-called “Boyfriend loophole.”
According to NBC News, lawmakers are at odds over federal funding for states that do not have Red Flag Laws. Cornyn said that he wanted to ensure grant money was available for such states.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have Red Flag Laws on their books.
Cornyn believes that federal funds should be available for crisis intervention and assisted outpatient treatment programs, among other things, should be available to states that do not have Red Flag Laws.
“I just don’t think anything that funds 19 states for their programs but ignores other states that have chosen not to have a red flag law, but rather have other ways to address the same problem, is going to fly,” Cornyn told reporters Wednesday, according to NBC News.
This puts him at loggerheads with some Democrats who do not want to make federal funding available for states which do not have Red Flag Laws.
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) told NBC News that Cornyn’s request was “doable” and expressed confidence that a resolution could be made, although they did not indicate how.
According to ABC News, under current federal law, unmarried partners who commit domestic violence can purchase firearms, while a married spouse cannot. The point of contention between lawmakers is definition.
“Negotiators are struggling with how to appropriately define a ‘boyfriend’ or partner in this language to include those who are unmarried,” according to ABC News.
NBC News reported that Cornyn floated the possibility that the language be dropped from the potential package in order, but Murphy dismissed it as something he did not want to do.
While Murphy and other Democrats attempted to downplay the stall before departing for Texas, Cornyn expressed frustration at the stalling of negotiations.
“I’m not as optimistic right now, but we’re continuing to work,” Cornyn said. “We don’t have a deal about anything unless we have a deal about everything.”
We reached out to Chris Dorr, Executive Director of the American Firearms Association, for comment on these Republicans who seem dismayed that their gun control talks are taking too long.
Dorr told us:
“These are Republican US Senators who haven’t delivered a single pro-gun policy advance of any substance in their entire congressional careers. For them to permanently shatter due process in America because they want to appease the Radical Left…well, that will be dealt with harshly by voters in the coming elections. Because if Republicans can’t be the party that stands for law, order and the rule of law, they can’t be counted on for anything.“
If you’re a red-blooded American, this is a glimmer of hope in the nightmare that has been the left’s latest attack on our gun rights.
It’s important to notice what happened here: the Washington beltway entered into this week triumphant over the in-principal agreement, and then as last week progressed, things stalled out a bit.
What happened to cause talks to cool? Was it really over how to word things?
We doubt it. We think it’s the fact that tens of thousands of gun owners have made their voices heard loud and clear!
According to the American Firearms Association, many tens of thousands of gun owners have written or called their legislators in the last two weeks to tell them HELL NO on more gun control.
And while the Washington Beltway will never publicly admit how much grassroots gun owners are affecting the negotiation process, you can see for yourself that they are!
KEEP IT UP. Let’s all continue putting pressure on our legislators by writing them and letting them know that we will not tolerate any infringement on our Second Amendment rights. If we ease up on the pressure, you can bet they will make their in-principal agreement a legislative reality. Take thirty seconds to email your legislator directly using this form provided by the American Firearms Association below: