Sen. Chris Murphy: We Must Avoid Trap of Inaction on Gun Policy

Image: Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, led a 15-hour filibuster Wednesday to force Senate action on gun control.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Christina Coleburn

Sen. Chris Murphy argued against inaction on gun policy in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

The Connecticut lawmaker defended his proposed reforms, contending that they could avert a mass shooting in the future even if they would not have necessarily prevented the Orlando nightclub massacre.

Related: Filibuster Ends After GOP Agrees to Allow Gun Control Votes

Murphy was among the group of Senate Democrats who led a nearly 15-hour filibuster Thursday that ended once GOP leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on proposed gun control measures. Murphy's proposals, filed with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, focus on banning people on the terrorist watch list from getting gun licenses and expanding background checks to gun shows and internet sales.

ABC's Jonathan Karl pointed out during Sunday's interview that the proposals now up for a vote wouldn't have prevented the attack in Orlando. "We can't get into that trap," Murphy said. "I think if this proposal had been into effect, it may have stopped this shooting. But we can't get into the trap in which we are forced to defend a proposal simply because it didn't stop the last tragedy. We should be making our gun laws less full of Swiss cheese holes so that future killings don't happen."

Murphy then invoked the 2012 Newtown elementary school shooting, which occurred in his state. The massacre left 20 children and six staff members dead. Murphy ended the filibuster earlier in the week with a tribute to a teacher who died trying to shield a student.

"That trap is an impossible one," he said Sunday. "The Sandy Hook families lobby for background checks. You know why? Because they're just as concerned with the young men and women who are dying in our cities because of the flow of illegal guns as they are about a ban on assault weapons or high magazine clips that might have prevented the Newtown killings. So this has to be broader than just responding to the tragedy that happened three days ago."

The Senate is set to vote on four gun control measures Monday, including two less restrictive measures filed by Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and John Cornyn of Texas.