WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of senators has announced an agreement on a gun and safety package, and the National Rifle Association and President Biden were quick to respond. Making the announcement Sunday, June 12th, the lawmakers called the agreement a “commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country.”
During the statement, the group said, “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. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”
In response to the announcement, the National Rifle Association said, “The NRA is committed to real solutions to help stop violence in our communities. We encourage our elected officials to provide more resources to secure our schools, fix to our severely broken mental health system and support law enforcement. As is our policy, the NRA does not take positions on ‘frameworks’. We will make our position known when the full text of the bill is available for review. The NRA will continue to oppose any effort to insert gun control policies, initiatives that override constitutional due process protections and efforts to deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones into this or any other legislation”.
So far, ten Republican senators have signed on, eliminating the possibility of a GOP filibuster on the Senate floor. The proposal includes initiatives to support an enhanced review process for gun buyers under the age of 21; penalties for straw purchases; additional funding for school resource officers; a national expansion of mental health services for children and families; expanding mental health programs in schools and state crisis intervention orders.
The announcement was applauded by many gun control activist groups and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel, as well as President Joe Biden, who said, “Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”