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Senate Bipartisan Group Reaches Agreement On Gun Safety Legislation

A bipartisan group of senators that has been working toward gun safety legislation in the weeks since the devastating mass shootings in the Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, last month reached a deal on Sunday.

The framework was worked on by 10 Democratic senators and 10 Republican senators. One of the main provisions included is an incentive for states to implement red flag laws, which help keep guns out of the hands of people who may intend to harm themselves or others. Other measures include more robust background checks for gun purchasers who are under 21, banning any person convicted of domestic violence, even in a dating relationship, from owning a gun, funding for mental heath support in schools and bolstering school security.

“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,” the group said in a statement. “Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

The measures have not yet been put into legislative text. The process could prove difficult in keeping the 10 Republicans on board, but it will be crucial to retain their support to avoid the filibuster in the evenly split Senate.

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It could take weeks to turn the framework into a final draft of a bill, but the Democratic leader of the bipartisan group Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) said work would start on Monday morning.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who served as the Republican leader in the group, also announced the agreement on Twitter.

“The tragedies in Uvalde and elsewhere cried out for action,” he said of the legislation.

The agreement comes after the House passed the “Protecting Our Kids Act” last week. The legislation, which includes raising the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21 has never been expected to pass in the Senate.

Rose Carter

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