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Senators reach bipartisan agreement on gun safety legislation: NPR

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senators reach bipartisan agreement on gun safety legislation: NPR

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of Senate negotiators said they reached agreement on a package of firearms and security measures narrowly focused on preventing future shootings similar to the one in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in their school.

The proposal, which did not make it into the legislative text, includes funds to encourage states to pass and implement so-called “red flag” laws to remove firearms from potentially dangerous people, funds to school safety and mental health resources, expanded background checks for gun purchases for those ages 18-21, and penalties for illegal purchases of straw by convicted felons.

The deal has the backing of at least 20 senators who have worked closely over the past few weeks to find common ground that could move the tightly divided Senate. The group includes 10 Republicans, meaning a final bill could potentially garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

Negotiators called it a “common sense” proposal that would reduce the threat of violence across the country.

“Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure that dangerous criminals and those deemed mentally ill cannot purchase weapons,” the group said. in a press release. “Most importantly, our plan saves lives while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

Aides said the legal and technical process of turning a preliminary agreement into a final bill could take weeks. Votes are not expected immediately on this agreement. Senators have been largely optimistic that any bipartisan deal will eventually pass the Senate, but the bill’s ultimate fate is not entirely clear. President Biden has largely left senators to reach an agreement on their own without input from the White House and House members have largely refused to comment on the content of the talks until such a framework is in place. published.

President Biden voiced his support for the deal in a statement. “Obviously, this doesn’t do everything I think is necessary, but it does reflect important steps in the right direction and would be the most important gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.” , Biden said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) has pledged to introduce a bill as soon as possible after the legislation is drafted. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a statement praising the negotiators, but refrained from pledging support for a possible bill.


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