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Mitch McConnell Voices Support For Bipartisan Gun Safety Agreement

The gun safety framework worked on by a bipartisan Senate group comprised of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans has gained the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

“For myself, I’m comfortable with the framework, and if the legislation ends up reflecting what the framework indicates, I’ll be supportive,” McConnell told reporters.

Devastating shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas that took the lives of 31 people in May sparked action in Congress. McConnell, who has been a longtime critic of gun control, signals Republican openness to work toward passing a bill to respond to the nation’s call for gun safety measures.

The framework has not yet been put into legislative text, but assuming that it doesn’t deviate much from the original measures, it should be able to pass the evenly split Senate. With McConnell’s vote, 11 Republicans, which is one more than is needed to avoid the filibuster if all 50 Democrats vote in favor, will support the legislation. They are aiming to have a draft completed and voted on in the next week and a half before Congress goes on recess until mid-July.

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The framework includes an incentive for states to implement red flag laws, which will make it more difficult for people who may intend to harm themselves or others to obtain a gun. Other provisions include bolstering background checks for those buying guns who are under 21, banning any person convicted of domestic violence, even in a dating relationship, from purchasing a gun and increasing funding for school security and mental health support in schools.

The agreement notably leaves out a ban on AR-15-style assault rifles, which have been shooters weapon of choice in recent mass shootings. It also does not increase the minimum age from 18 to 21.

Rose Carter

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