Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., are making progress as they work to revise a red flag bill they co-sponsored in 2019 in the hopes that it can win enough GOP support to advance in the Senate, CBS News reports.
According to four people close to the discussions who were not authorized to speak to the news outlet, the bipartisan pair has been working closely on updating the earlier proposal to allow it the best chance of receiving wide support in the Senate.
“Lindsey and Richard get along and are talking to outside groups about what they're doing,” one source told CBS. “They were on the phone all weekend and bringing a few people in.”
Both senators later confirmed to CBS that their discussions are making headway.
Currently, their revised legislation would focus on setting up federal grants to encourage states to create or strengthen red flag laws.
A red flag law generally gives law enforcement the authority, if given a court order, to temporarily remove guns from people who are viewed as a threat to themselves or others.
The key for Graham and Blumenthal will be striking the right tone with language used in the bill, so that skeptical Republicans don’t feel shut out and Democrats don’t see the final version of the legislation as watered down and disappointing.
One source told CBS that the scope and type of evidence required are being considered and that the senators are also discussing the timeline between a court order and a hearing.
Graham and Blumenthal reportedly believe that their efforts on red flag laws and bipartisan agreement could become an important piece of the end result of the gun talks being brokered by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
The Murphy-Cornyn talks began in response to last week’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead, CBS reports.
Graham and Cornyn are considered important allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Nineteen states give a judge the authority to take away a gun from someone who is at risk of harming themselves or others. According to one study, for every 10 to 20 guns removed in Connecticut, a life is saved.
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