US Capitol, filmed on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Kent Nishimura Los Angeles Times Getty Images
A bipartisan group of senators overcame some obstacles at the last minute and published legislative text Tuesday on a narrow set of provisions for combating gun violenceincluding government funding for implementation red flag laws. and improved background checks.
“Today, we finalized bipartisan, sensible legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., And John Cornin, R-Texas, said in a joint statement with Sens. Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., And Tom Tillis, RN.C.
“Our legislation will save lives and will not violate the rights of Americans under the Second Amendment. We look forward to broad hearings, bipartisan support and the adoption of our health legislation in law, “they added.
Shortly after the text was published, the Senate voted 64-34 to formally begin the debate, with the Senate majority leader Chuck SchumerDN.Y. said it hopes to pass the bill this week before the hall breaks its two-week vacation on July 4. The law is still subject to a threshold of 60 votes to end the debate before adoption.
If the law is approved by the Senate, it will go to the House, where the president is Nancy Pelosi assess the outlines of the deal as a step forward.
Cornin said earlier Tuesday that senators had agreed to tackle the so-called boyfriend’s door by restricting gun rights for non-spouses who have been convicted of domestic violence.
“Unless someone is convicted of domestic violence under state law, their gun rights will not be affected,” he told the Senate. “Those who have been convicted of domestic violence without spouses – not a crime but domestic violence – will have the opportunity to regain their rights under the Second Amendment in five years. But they must have a clean record.
Legislation will offer red flag grants to every state, including those that do not pass red flag laws that can be used in other crisis prevention programs designed to prevent people in crisis from resorting to violence, Cornin said. , chief negotiator of the GOP.
The provisions for the boyfriend’s door and the red flag were the last two major obstacles between the main senators: Murphy, Cornin, Cinema and Tillis.
“We’re closing the door for the boyfriend,” Murphy said. “Only this provision will save the lives of so many women who unfortunately die at the hands of a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend who is chasing them with a firearm.
A Sinema aide said the Arizona senator first raised the idea of removing the boyfriend’s door in the talks, drawing on his past experience as a social worker at a domestic violence shelter.
The bill also improves past checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21, Murphy said, allowing up to three days for checks and an additional 10 days if there are signs of concern. He said it would contain tougher penalties for arms trafficking and “clarify” which vendors should register as a federal firearms licensee, forcing them to conduct inspections. And he said the bill expands money for mental health and school health.
The National Arms Association quickly voiced opposition to the bill, arguing in a statement Tuesday that the legislation “does little to tackle violent crime, while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of the Second Amendment’s freedom by law-abiding gun owners.” “.
Schumer praised the bill as “life-saving legislation,” saying he was “pleased that, for the first time in nearly 30 years, Congress is back on track to take meaningful action to tackle gun violence.”
Leader of the minority in the Senate Mitch McConnellR-Ky., which has long been opposed to stricter gun lawsissued a statement saying it supported the bill, calling it “a sensible package of popular steps that will help make these horrific incidents less likely, while fully preserving the rights of the Second Amendment to law-abiding citizens”.
The group is working over the weekend after talks came to a head over a dispute over how to close the so-called “boyfriend door”, which includes pistol rights for abusive partners. As early as Thursday, Cornin said he was “disappointed” with the way negotiations are progressing.
The bipartisan group of negotiators make a deal on the legislative framework last week, but struggled with the exact language of the bill.
sen. Mitt RomneyR-Utah told reporters that all 10 Republicans, who initially joined the bipartisan framework, held talks with McConnell on Monday and “reviewed the bill, point by point.” He said “all speakers are satisfied” with what has been developed.
He also dismissed Republican colleagues, who he said would complain that the bill was moving too fast.
“I know there are some who will say, ‘God, we don’t have the bill and we want to read it,'” Romney said. “You can take part in the drafting, or if people are concerned about a provision, you could be part of the negotiations. The door is open. Anyone who wants to be part of the discussion can get involved. “