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Broward Congresswoman says she is optimistic about bipartisan talks on gun law

Miami Herald

A bipartisan group of senators is scheduled to hold virtual meetings this week to discuss proposals on changes to gun laws. They include the expansion of background checks, legal changes to prevent teenagers and people with mental illness from getting guns, and new rules for gun trafficking.

The group is led by Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut. He has worked on gun laws since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

"There are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a path forward this time than I have ever seen since Sandy Hook," Murphy told host Jonathon Karl on ABC's "This Week."

Democrats control the White House and Congress but fall 10 votes short in the Senate to approve bills that address the country's mass shootings.

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says she is cautiously hopeful about the bipartisan talks.

“We've passed that legislation out of the House of Representatives, and the Senate has been able to do nothing. So as long as they're talking, I have some optimism,” she said Friday.

Murphy also said he was looking at Florida's gun laws passed after a man killed 17 people and injured 17 more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, as a model for federal gun laws.

"The Florida law is a good law. And it's a signal of what's possible, right? It married together changes to Florida's gun laws with some significant investments in mental health and school security."

In 2019, Wasserman-Schultz sponsored a bill that would require background checks for people buying ammunition. It was titled Jaime’s law after Jaime Gutenberg, the high school student who died in the Parkland school shooting.

The bill has not been passed by Congress and is still being reviewed.

Gerard Albert III is back in Broward, where he grew up, after reporting on crime and public safety in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and West Palm Beach. Albert is a former WLRN intern who graduated from Florida International University.