Senators Reach Gun Safety Legislation

Senators have finally reached an agreement on gun legislation. The proposed framework is a huge step forward in the mass shootings dialogue. As of right now, the next issue for negotiators is getting 60 votes. 

The framework would save lives, while respecting law-abiding Americans’ rights. The 20 senators want to enact their commonsense approach with bipartisan support. 

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Criminal and Mental Records

The proposal’s primary negotiators are Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chris Murphy (D-CT.), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX).

The idea would require 21-and-younger gun buyers to disclose their juvenile criminal and mental health records. Each state’s laws on juvenile records make it difficult to write. 

Since the Uvalde, Texas, shooting incident, a bipartisan committee held regular firearms meetings. With only 50 Senate seats, Democrats need ten Republicans to advance. 

The lawmakers said they must restore families’ perception of safety and protection in their neighborhoods. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed the official statement as proof of “the value of constructive dialogue,” but he avoided endorsing the framework.

In addition to red flag regulations, which allow police to temporarily remove firearms from an individual who presents a danger to themselves or others, the package would address the “boyfriend loophole” by increasing firearms restrictions on abusers of intimate partners. 

A synopsis of the agreement says the package also targets straw buyers and illegal gun dealers. 

The framework emerges three weeks after 19 youngsters and two instructors died in Uvalde. A racist mass murderer killed ten people in Buffalo, N.Y., a week before the Texas killings.

March for Our Lives, a firearm safety group created after the 2018 Parkland school tragedy, organized nationwide demonstrations on Saturday. 

When asked about the framework, President Biden said, “The sooner it gets to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can save lives.”

Framework and Details

Sunday’s declaration represents a breakthrough, but turning a framework into a bill is problematic.

Last year’s bipartisan infrastructure negotiations took almost six weeks from framework introduction to Senate passage. An involved GOP aide said Sunday’s agreement was “in concepts, not legislation.” 


While the concept is limited, compared to Democrats’ push for enhanced background checks, it might be a high-water point for GOP support for gun controls.

It’s the closest the chamber has gone to a gun safety compromise since 2013 when Manchin and Toomey authored bipartisan legislation after the Sandy Hook shooting. 

After a surge of gun-related deaths and killings, including mass shootings, the Senate is ready to pass measures to protect Americans where they live, shop, and learn. 

A few Democrats and most Republicans opposed Manchin-Toomey.

The Senate attempted again in 2019, following horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, but President Trump withdrew, amid the impeachment inquiry. Murphy and Cornyn’s gun bill increased background checks. 

This time, Democrats wanted to extend background checks and ban assault firearms, but Republicans oppose this.

McConnell indicated his willingness to raise the age to buy assault rifles to 21. Still, neither he nor Cornyn advocated it as part of the deal; it may not receive the 60 votes necessary to survive a GOP Senate. 

Given these challenges, Senate Democratic leaders will likely accept a less restrictive arrangement than Biden’s party wants. 

Any Senate bill can be amended if a bipartisan group completes the wordings and gets 60 votes to commence a discussion. Congress is slated to take a two-week recess on June 24.

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