Senate Negotiators Announce Draft Gun Violence Accord – Boston News, Weather, Sports

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate negotiators Sunday announced a bipartisan framework that responded to last month’s mass shooting, a modest breakthrough that offered measured gun restrictions and increased efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.

The proposal falls far short of tougher moves that President Joe Biden and many Democrats have long sought. However, should the deal result in legislation being passed, it would mark a departure from years of gun massacres that have only resulted in a stalemate in Congress.

Leaders hope to quickly translate any agreement into law – they hope this month – before the political momentum sparked by the recent mass shootings wanes Buffalo, New Yorkand Uvalde, Texas.

In a significant development, 20 senators, including 10 Republicans, issued a statement calling for passage. This is potentially crucial, as the biggest obstacle to passing the measure likely lies in the 50-50 Senate, where at least 10 GOP votes will be required to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for approval.

“Families are afraid, and it is our duty to come together and do something that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” lawmakers said.

The compromise would make the juvenile files of gun buyers under the age of 21 accessible if they undergo a background check. The suspects who killed 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store and 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school were both 18 years old, and many of the attackers who have committed mass shootings in recent years have been young.

The deal would offer states money to implement “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily confiscate guns from those deemed potentially violent and to strengthen school safety and mental health programs.

And it would take other steps, including requiring more people selling guns to get federal dealer licenses, which means they would have to conduct background checks on buyers.

Biden said in a statement that the framework “doesn’t do everything I think is necessary, 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 is no excuse for delay and no reason why it shouldn’t go through the Senate and House quickly,” he said.

The announcement underscored the pressure both parties have been feeling in the election year since 10 black people were killed at a Buffalo grocery store and 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school. These massacres prompted two weeks of closed-door talks between groups of senators led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Thom Tillis, RN.C., and Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz.

The deal represents a lowest-common-denominator compromise on gun violence, not a complete turnaround in Congress. It comes with lawmakers determined to show they are responding to voter dislike over Buffalo and Uvalde, but Republicans are still blocking broader moves that Democrats want.

These include banning assault-style firearms like the AR-15 rifles used in Buffalo and Uvalde, or raising the legal age to purchase them. AR-15s are popular and powerful semi-automatic weapons, capable of firing high-capacity magazines, and have been used in many of the country’s most notorious slaughterhouses in recent years. One of them, the murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, happened six years ago on Sunday.

Democrats also wanted to ban high-capacity magazines and extend required background checks to far more gun purchases. None of these proposals stand a chance in Congress.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/news/senate-bargainers-announce-outline-of-gun-violence-agreement/ Senate Negotiators Announce Draft Gun Violence Accord – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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