A bipartisan group in the Senate announced they have reached a deal on a package of safety and gun-related measures to address gun violence in response to the May 24 mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead at a Uvalde elementary school.
Texas Senator John Cornyn was the lead negotiator for the deal. The proposal, which has not been written into legislative text, includes money to incentivize states to pass and implement “red flag” laws to remove guns from potentially dangerous people; funding for mental health services, telehealth resources and more school security; expanded background checks for gun purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21; and penalties for illegal straw purchases by convicted criminals.
The negotiators called it a “commonsense” proposal that would reduce the threat of violence across the country. So far, it has the support of at least 20 senators, including 10 Republicans. It is therefore likely that the final bill could potentially garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.
“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” read a joint statement from the bipartisan negotiating group that included Cornyn and nine other Republican senators. “Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”
“Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” the news release stated. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”
The 10 Republicans behind the the agreement are John Cornyn, Thom Tillis, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Lindsey Graham, Pat Toomey, Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, and Mitt Romney.
On Twitter, President Joe Biden signaled support for the proposal, while indicating that he wished the legislators would go further.
“It does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction,” he said. “With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay. Let’s get this done.”