- Sen. Chris Murphy proposed defunding law enforcement agencies that don’t enforce gun laws.
- Many counties that have red flag gun laws have said they will refuse to enforce them, Murphy said.
- Colorado’s red flag law should’ve been triggered for the suspected gunman in the Club Q shooting, officials said.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy proposed withholding funding from law enforcement agencies that refuse to enforce gun safety laws.
The Connecticut senator’s comments to CNN on Sunday was in response to a string of recent mass shooting, particularly the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, which left five people dead.
Colorado officials said the 22-year-old suspected gunman should have triggered the state’s red flag law, but officers at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office refused to utilize the red flag law.
“I think we have to have a conversation about whether we can continue to fund law enforcement in states where they are refusing to implement these gun laws,” Murphy said on Sunday. “I will talk to my colleagues about what our approach should be this problem, but 60 percent of counties in this country are refusing to implement the nation’s gun laws. We have got to do something about that.”
The suspected gunman in the Club Q shooting had previously threatened his mother with a bomb in 2021, an incident that could have triggered Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order that permits a judge to temporarily seize one’s firearms if they are a serious risk to others or themselves.
However, the sheriff’s office in El Paso County declared itself a “Second Amendment preservation county” in 2019 and refused to exercise the red flag law, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
—CNN (@CNN) November 27, 2022
“What we have, I think, learned in Colorado is that the county in which the shooting happened is a so-called Second Amendment sanctuary state,” Murphy said. “The majority of counties in this country have declared that they are not going to enforce state and federal gun laws. They have decided that they are going to essentially refuse to implement laws that are on the books. That is a growing problem in this country.”
When asked directly by host Dana Bash if Murphy wanted to “withhold money for law enforcement,” he said senators are “going to have to have a conversation about that.”
“Do we want to continue to supply funding to law enforcement in counties that refuse to implement state and federal gun laws? Red flag laws are wildly popular, right?” Murphy said. “This is a choice to allow this to continue to happen. The laws that we’re talking about passing, red flag laws, assault weapons bans, they’re wildly popular. I mean, they’re not actually that controversial outside of Washington. And I hope that, this year or next year, we will finally be able to do something.”