Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said the Senate should consider defunding police departments in states that don’t implement gun laws in the wake of the Colorado Springs shooting.
Murphy condemned the actions of some Colorado counties that have declared their status as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” to CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, arguing they were circumventing state and federal laws. More than half of the state’s counties passed some form of the resolution after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a “red flag” law in 2019, which allowed police to temporarily take away the guns of those who may pose a risk to society. The law went into effect in 2020.
“The majority of counties in this country declare that they are not going to enforce state and federal gun laws, they have decided that they are going to essentially refuse to implement the laws that are on the books. That is a growing problem in this country,” he said. “I think we’re gonna have to have a conversation about that in the United States Senate. Do we want to continue to supply fundamental law enforcement in counties that refuse to implement state and federal gun laws?”
Murphy acknowledged President Joe Biden’s preferred solution—banning assault weapons—was not possible in the current Senate, as there likely wasn’t 60 votes. The Colorado Springs shooting occurred in El Paso County, one of 37 counties that have implemented a “sanctuary” resolution, despite what Murphy said were popular “red flag” laws.
“You’re just temporarily taking guns away from people,“ he said. “I think we have to have a conversation about whether we can continue to fund law enforcement in these states where they’re refusing to implement these gun laws.”
Murphy, an outspoken gun reform advocate, has called for stripping law enforcement funding before. In the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, Murphy proposed legislation to end federal funding for police officers in schools, arguing the money would be better spent on nurses, guidance counselors, and other school employees.