Senate negotiators have reportedly reached a tentative deal on gun control legislation, which includes updates to background check requirements for gun purchasers.
What Happened: The chief negotiators of the proposed legislation, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, issued a joint statement on Sunday indicating that they’ve established “a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country.”
The deal includes providing funds to states to institute “red flag” laws, which would allow authorities and family members to ask local court systems to determine if a person is a risk to themselves and others. The courts would then prohibit that person from gaining access to a firearm.
The two senators said the agreement improves school safety and supports students, while also helping ensure that “dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”
They pointed out that saving lives is the focus of the plan, but also acknowledged the importance of protecting the Second Amendment rights of “law-abiding Americans.”
When it comes to updating the process of background checks, the tentative agreement calls for more intensive reviews of people who are 18 to 21 years of age, including providing access to mental health information that may disqualify an applicant for purchasing a gun.
Additionally, the proposal would address the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” by making previous domestic violence convictions and related restraining orders available to the national background check system.
Reaction From Leadership: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., issued a statement applauding the initial agreement, saying that, “Congress is on the path to take meaningful action to address gun violence,” for the first time in almost 30 years.
He added that Washington lawmakers “must move swiftly to advance this legislation because if a single life can be saved it is worth the effort.”
President Joe Biden also expressed his support for the deal, issuing a statement that the proposal “reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”
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