(CNSNews) – On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced his support for a bipartisan gun control plan largely negotiated by Senators John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“If the legislation ends up reflecting what the [gun control] framework indicates, I’ll be supportive,” McConnell said. “It’s a step forward on a bipartisan basis and further demonstrates to the American people that we can come together, which we have done from time to time on things like infrastructure and postal reform, to make progress for the country.”
Although not written yet as legislation, the framework of the gun control bill includes funding to help states implement “red flag” laws, which allow a court to bar an individual who is “a significant danger to themselves or others”; closes a loophole that allowed certain domestic abusers to purchase guns; invests in mental health and safety services for schools; enhances background checks for people under 21; and expands mental health services across the nation.
The outline does not include many of the measures from the Protecting Our Kids Act, which was approved by the House of Representatives last week. Provisions that did not make the Senate’s proposal include raising the minimum age to purchase a rifle to 21, banning the sale of “large-capacity magazines,” and changing the rules for storing guns at home.
The group of senators who negotiated the framework includes 10 Republicans. If all 50 Democratic senators support the final text of the bill along with the framework’s negotiators, it will have enough support to close debate, clearing the path for it to be passed by the Senate.
The 10 Republican senators who reportedly support the bill are John Cornyn (Texas), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Richard Burr (N.C.), Mitt Romney (Utah), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susna Collins (Me.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and Pat Toomey (Penn.).
McConnell’s support makes it 11 Republican senators.
The last time Congress enacted legislation restricting the sale of guns was in 1994 when Congress passed the “assault weapons ban.” The ban expired in 2004 and has not been renewed since, despite attempts to do so.
The new proposal follows two mass shooting events. On May 14, a white 18-year-old gunman allegedly shot 13 people, killing 10, including 11 black victims and two white victims in Buffalo, New York. The gunman was legally able to purchase his weapon from a vintage gun store near his hometown, according to NPR. The suspect passed the shop’s background check despite state police ordering a psychiatric evaluation on the 18-year-old last June.
Just 10 days later, another 18-year-old suspect committed a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, killing 19 children and two adults. Texas police confirmed that the teenager also bought his firearm legally. The shooter was killed in a gunfight with police and a Border Patrol agent.
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