Senators Announce Bipartisan Deal on Gun Safety
(WASHINGTON) — Senate bargainers announced a bipartisan framework Sunday responding to last month’s mass shootings, a modest breakthrough offering measured gun curbs and bolstered efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.
Although the proposal does not include tougher steps that President Joe Biden, and many Democrats wanted to take, it is well short of what they are looking for. However, the agreement could lead to legislation being enacted. This would be a significant change from the years of gun violence that has resulted in little more than stalemate at Congress.
Leaders hope to push any agreement into law quickly — they hope this month — before the political momentum fades that has been stirred by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Under-21 gun buyers would have their juvenile records made available to background check personnel. They were both 18 when they killed 10 people in Buffalo at a grocery shop and 20 students and teachers in Uvalde at an elementary school. In fact, many mass shooters who have occurred in recent years are young.
The agreement would offer money to states to implement “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, and to bolster school safety and mental health programs.
And it would take other steps, including requiring more people who sell guns obtain federal dealers’ licenses, which means they would have to conduct background checks of purchasers.
Biden said in a statement that the framework “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.”
Given the bipartisan support, “there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House,” he said.
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