WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican senators were at odds Thursday over how to keep firearms from dangerous people as bargainers struggled to finalize details of a gun violence compromise in time for their self-imposed deadline of holding votes in Congress next week.
Lawmakers said they remained divided over how to define abusive dating partners who would be legally barred from purchasing firearms. Disagreements were also unresolved over proposals to send money to states that have “red flag” laws that let authorities temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous by courts, and to other states for their own violence prevention programs.
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Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, says the Democrats have nearly “run out of rope” in their gun-reform negotiations with Senate Republicans, due to time constraints and policy disagreements.
Cornyn’s warning Thursday comes on the heels of Republicans and Democrats being embroiled in contentious talks at the Senate level, with the most prominent hangups apparently involving “red flag” gun laws and closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” applying to gun restrictions for people currently involved with abusive spouses.
“The challenge, of course, as you know, is to translate those principles into text,” Cornyn told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
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