Senate Reaches “Framework” Deal on Gun Legislation
A working group of US Senators from both parties have announced a framework agreement on gun legislation in response to recent mass shootings.
The agreement would provide incentives for states to pass so-called “red flag” laws, which the group calls “state crisis intervention orders;” boost mental health resources; provide funding for school safety resources; clarify the definition of federally licensed firearms dealer; and crack down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.
It would also expand background checks for firearms buyers under 21, by requiring an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records. Convicted domestic violence abusers and people subject to domestic violence restraining orders would also now be included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, closing what is called the “boyfriend loophole.”
“Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”
If passed, the plan would represent the most significant update to the nation’s federal gun laws in nearly three decades, although the provisions fall far short of what Democrats have proposed in the wake of recent mass shootings and what President Biden has advocated for. The framework was announced on the sixth anniversary of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed.
The Democratic senators who signed onto the proposal are:
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut
Cory Booker of New Jersey
Chris Coons of Delaware
Martin Heinrich of New Mexico
Mark Kelly of Arizona
Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats;
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Chris Murphy of Connecticut
Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
Debbie Stabenow of Michigan
The Republican signatories include:
John Cornyn of Texas
Roy Blunt of Missouri
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Rob Portman of Ohio
Mitt Romney of Utah
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The support from the 10 GOP senators ensures that, if all 50 Democrats back the plan and the Republicans maintain their backing, it can advance in the Senate once introduced as legislation.