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American News Jun 13, 2022 5:08 AM EST

Bipartisan group of senators agree on new firearm safety proposal

The senators said their plan "improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons."

Bipartisan group of senators agree on new firearm safety proposal
Joshua Young Youngsville, North Carolina

A bipartisan group of senators announced Sunday that they reached an agreement on a framework for potential new federal firearm legislation.

"Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country," they said in a statement. "Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities."

The group of senators included Chris Murphy (D-CN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R?NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D?AZ), Richard Blumenthal (D?CN), Roy Blunt (R?MO), Cory Booker (D- NJ), Richard Burr (R?NC), Bill Cassidy (R?LA), Susan Collins (R?MN), Chris Coons (D?DE.), Lindsey Graham (R?SC), Martin Heinrich (D?NM), Mark Kelly (D?AZ.), Angus King (I?ME), Joe Manchin (D?W.VA), Rob Portman (R?OH), Mitt Romney (R?UT), Debbie Stabenow (D?MI), and Pat Toomey (R?PA).

While Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wasn't involved, according to Fox News, he did release a statement supporting the agreement.

The announcement followed President Joe Biden calling on Congress to "do something" in response to a string of recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. Biden's call to action placed the blame of the incidents at the feet of the gun lobby and called for sweeping new gun legislation.

Specifics have yet to be written but the involvement of 10 Republicans on the agreement signals that the new legislation could reach a filibuster proof majority needed to be passed in the Senate.

According to the Associated Press, Biden said of the agreement that 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."

The proposal covered multiple areas including an enhanced review process for gun buyers under the age of 21. This mirrored a recent monolithic bill which passed the House, the so-called "Protecting Our Kids Act" which outlawed the purchase of many firearms, and all semi-automatic rifles, from anyone under 21.

The proposal would increase penalties for straw purchasing, which is when someone buys a firearm for someone else who is unable to purchase one themselves.

Support for "state crisis intervention orders" also known as "red flag laws" is in the proposal, which gives "resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others." Similar to recent legislation in New York it's unclear as to the limiting principles for how the state can place a restrictive order on a potential gun buyer.

The proposal also would increase funding for school safety resources, mental health services for children and families, and mental health programs in schools.

The senators summarized their announcement by saying "our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons. Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans."

Following the announcement, The National Rifle Association issued a statement to Fox News Digital which read, "The NRA is committed to real solutions to help stop violence in our communities.  We encourage our elected officials to provide more resources to secure our schools, fix to our severely broken mental health system and support law enforcement."

The statement added, "As is our policy, the NRA does not take positions on 'frameworks.'  We will make our position known when the full text of the bill is available for review."

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