As a group of senators proposed a modest bipartisan Gun Reform on Sunday in response to last month’s deadly killings, Joe Biden encouraged US legislators to get a compromise on gun legislation to his desk as soon as possible.
The proposed Gun Reform is a small step forward, providing targeted gun restrictions while also supporting efforts to strengthen school safety and mental health initiatives.
It falls well short of the stricter measures that Biden, many Democrats, gun reform groups, and ordinary Americans have long desired. There is no suggestion, for example, to outlaw assault weapons, as protestors had hoped, or to raise the age of purchase from 18 to 21.
The Gun Reform Is A Modest One
Even still, if the agreement leads to the legislation’s passage, it would mark a shift from years of gun tragedies that have resulted in nothing but deadlock in Congress.
Biden acknowledged the deal’s flaws in a statement, but praised it and urged swift action. Leaders seek to enact any accord fast – maybe this month – well before political momentum generated by the recent mass murders in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, disappears.
Significantly, the “agreement in principle” looks to have the support of at least ten Republican senators, which would be enough to break the filibuster with a 60-vote majority in the Senate.
When gun buyers under the age of 21 undergo background checks, the dealer wants to make their juvenile records public. The shooters who killed ten people at a Buffalo grocery store and 19 kids and two instructors at an elementary school in Uvalde were both 18 years old, and many of the perpetrators in recent mass shootings have been teenagers.
States would receive funds to establish “red flag” legislation that makes it much easier to temporarily take weapons away from persons suspected of being dangerous, as well as to improve school safety and mental health initiatives. It would also take additional actions, like mandating more gun sellers to acquire federal dealer’s licenses, which would require them to complete background checks on buyers.
The deal comes after weeks of rigorous discussions between the different parties of senators, led by Connecticut’s Chris Murphy on the Democratic side and Texas’ John Cornyn on the Republican side.