Senate lawmakers are beginning to draft the most significant federal legislation to address gun violence in nearly 30 years following deadly mass shootings in a Buffalo supermarket and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It’s a noteworthy but limited breakthrough offering modest gun curbs and stepped-up efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.
A bipartisan group of senators announced a framework agreement Sunday which would provide financial support for states to create or administer red flag laws. Those would temporarily remove guns from individuals deemed to be a threat.
“This bill doesn’t do everything,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “But it is substantial. It is significant. It will save lives.”
The deal also expands investments in mental health and school safety and enhances background checks for gun buyers under 21.
At least 10 Republicans have already signed onto the proposal, increasing its prospect for passage before the July 4 recess.
The Justice Department on Monday indicted an alleged gun trafficker in Texas and urged Congress to do its part.
President Joe Biden has indicted he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk but has said he would like to see more done.
The National Rifle Association has warned the group will continue to oppose any effort to insert gun control policies that deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves.