Senators Reach Bipartisan Agreement On Modest Gun Restriction Bill

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 07: Event staff lay flowers representing deaths from gun violence at the Giffords Gun Violence Memorial in front of the Washington Monument on June 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. Activists and congr... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 07: Event staff lay flowers representing deaths from gun violence at the Giffords Gun Violence Memorial in front of the Washington Monument on June 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. Activists and congressional leaders spoke about a renewed push for gun control legislation Monday in the wake of a series of high-profile U.S. shootings. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday announced a deal on framework of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence that includes funding for mental health and school security. Thus far, 10 Republican senators stated their support of the deal.

The agreement is currently in principle as legislative text has yet to be drafted. The deal comes in the wake of a series of mass shootings nationwide, including the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas late last month.

The deal includes enhanced background checks for buyers under the age of 21, funding for the expansion of mental health services and school security, and state grants to implement so-called “red flag” laws championed by Republicans that permit law enforcement to seek temporary removal of firearms from those who pose threats to themselves or others.

The deal closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” in order to prevent a domestic abuse from purchasing a gun if they are convicted of abusing their partner.

Additionally, it seeks to crack down on illegal straw purchasers and firearms dealers without a license.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) serve as lead negotiators on the proposal, which requires 60 votes to reach the Senate floor. The bipartisan group of senators were in talks throughout the weekend on securing a deal and have been in talks with a larger bipartisan group of negotiators.

If passed, the deal would become the most significant legislation in gun safety in decades, despite falling short of proposals backed by President Biden and congressional Democrats to increase the minimum age of the purchase of some rifles from 18 to 21.

The deal follows the House’s vote last week to pass a package of gun control legislation named the Protecting our Kids Act. The package based sales of many semiautomatic rifles to those under 21, banned high-capacity magazines and pushed red-flag laws in both state and federal courts. It is not expected to pass the Senate, however, amid GOP opposition to tighter gun control.

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