Republican senator walks out of gun law negotiations

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said he was ‘done’ as he left Thursday’s closed session on gun law negotiations after nearly two hours, saying he was returning his home.

“That’s the hardest part because at some point you just have to make a decision. And when people don’t want to make a decision, you can’t achieve the result. And that’s kind of where we are right now,” Mr. Cornyn said.

“I’m not frustrated, I’m done,” he added, although he said he was open to further discussions.

Democratic and Republican senators were at odds over how to protect guns from dangerous people as negotiators struggled to finalize details of a compromise on gun violence in time for their self-imposed deadline to organize votes in Congress next week.

Lawmakers said they remained divided on how to define abusive dating partners who would be legally barred from buying guns.

Disagreements have also not been resolved over proposals to send money to states that have “red flag” laws that allow authorities to temporarily confiscate firearms from people deemed dangerous by the courts, and to other states for their own violence prevention programs.

The election-year talks appear to be heading for a deal, with both sides fearful of voter punishment if Congress doesn’t respond to the carnage of last month’s mass shootings.

Both parties fear punishment from voters if Congress does not respond to the carnage of last month’s mass shootings (Susan Walsh/AP)

A total of 31 people were killed at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The outlines of a deal were endorsed by President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Lawmakers said a deal must be reached and drafted into legislative language by the end of the week if Congress is to vote next week. He begins a hiatus on July 4 after that.

Other negotiators sounded more optimistic, saying much of the overall package had been agreed and aides were drafting the bill’s language.

“A deal like this is tough,” Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said at the end of the meeting. “It comes with a lot of emotion, it comes with political risk for both parties. But we are close enough to make it happen.

The measure would impose small restrictions on firearms. Missing are proposals from Mr. Biden and Democrats to ban assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like those used in Buffalo and Uvalde, or to raise the legal age to purchase assault rifles. from 18 to 21 years old.

Even so, it would be the strongest Congressional ruling against gun violence since 1993. A ban lawmakers enacted that year on assault weapons went into effect in 1994 and expired after a decade.

Since then, dozens of high-profile mass shootings have yielded nothing in Washington amid a partisan standoff, largely due to Republicans blocking virtually all new restrictions.

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