Bipartisan Group Of Senators Agree On Gun Safety Law Proposals
A bipartisan group of 20 senators have reached agreement on a package of gun safety legislation proposals.
It was the result of 10 Republican, 9 Democrat and 1 independent senators working over the past several weeks to find the areas of common ground that could pass the closely divided Senate.
The support of Republican senators is a breakthrough because the progress of any gun-control law in the Upper House was seen as unlikely, as the Senate Republicans say access to guns is a constitutional right.
The package does not include many key proposals that Presidenrt Joe Biden wanted to be part of a potential bill. However, he thanked Senator Chris Murphy and other members of the bipartisan group — especially Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Tillis — for their tireless work to produce this proposal.
“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” Biden said in a statement.
With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House, according to him.
“Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country: the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives,” Biden added.
While addressing the nation after a series of mass shootings that shook the nation recently, Biden had called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He suggested that if it is not possible, the age to purchase them should be raised from 18 to 21.
However, both these proposals do not find a place in the new package.
The bipartisan proposal includes Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders, Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services, Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence, Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services, Funding for School Safety Resources, Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer, Crackdown on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and Under 21 Enhanced Review Process, and crackdown on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.
For buyers of assault weapons under 21 years of age, the new measure proposes an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.
The proposal has not been drafted in legislative text format.
Sen. Chris Murphy, the lead Democrat in the negotiations, said that while this bill does not cover everything that is needed to end the nation’s gun violence epidemic, it’s real, meaningful progress. “And it breaks a 30 year log jam, demonstrating that Democrats and Republicans can work together in a way that truly saves lives,” he added.
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