Here’s What’s In And Out Of The Senate’s Bipartisan Arms Deal – NBC Chicago

The outline of a bipartisan Senate agreement to curb gun violence does not include groundbreaking steps banning the deadliest firearms. It proposes deliberate provisions that would make it more difficult for some young gun buyers, or those perceived as threatening, to have guns.

And there are meaningful efforts to address mental health and school safety concerns. It all reflects the election year pressure to take action that both sides are feeling after mass shootings in May that killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, and another 21 in Uvalde, Texas.

Details of the plan remain under negotiation between Democrats and Republicans, with disagreements over how tight the initiatives should be. That means the potential of the proposal – and perhaps whether some parts survive – remains undetermined as it is translated into legislation.

Here’s what’s in and out of the agreement:

STRENGTHENING BACKGROUND CONTROLS

When people ages 18 to 20 try to purchase firearms, the federal background check required for the first time includes their juvenile delinquency and mental health records. To allow time for data to be obtained from state and local authorities, the current three-day maximum would be extended to seven days, according to aides after the talks. Once the 10 days have passed, the buyer can get the weapon even if the record search is incomplete.

Currently, dealers considered in the “business” of selling guns are required to obtain federal firearms licenses. Such sellers should carry out background checks. Negotiators want to cover more people who, although they don’t have a formal business, occasionally sell guns.

Protesters will take part in more than 450 demonstrations across the country on Saturday in an effort to “promote common sense national and state restrictions on gun safety,” organizers said.

RED FLAG LEGISLATION, STRAW BUYERS AIM

The framework calls for grants to help states enforce or introduce “red flag” laws that allow authorities to obtain court orders to temporarily seize weapons from people deemed dangerous. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have such statutes, but some don’t have the funds to vigorously enforce them.

Sanctions would be tougher for so-called straw buyers, those who buy weapons for others who are ineligible. More current or former romantic partners who have been convicted of domestic violence, or have been the target of restraining orders by their victims, should not be allowed to have guns. The ban applies today if the couple was married, living together or had children together.

The inclusion of the tougher restrictions on straw buyers and estranged partners came as a surprise as they had previously been blocked by Republicans.

MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES

Democrats say there will be billions of dollars to expand mental health initiatives. This would pay off for more community health centers, increased suicide prevention and violence intervention efforts, and better access to mental health telehealth visits.

There would be new amounts for school safety. These may include increased security at building entrances, staff training, and violence prevention programs. The dollar amount is unclear.

The actor was born in Uvalde, Texas, and spoke at the White House on Tuesday about his connection to the city and his desire to fight for gun restrictions.

OBSTACLES AHEAD

Democrats responding to voters who strongly support gun bans want the new law to be as strict as possible. Republicans don’t want anything that would turn their adamantly pro-gun voters against them.

This means tough negotiations on the fine print of the legislation.

How closely will a new definition be drawn of which sellers need federal firearms licenses? Are there any limits on which juvenile records can be accessed during background checks for younger buyers?

What conditions would states have to meet in order to qualify for “red flag” funds? What legal protections would people have if the authorities find them too risky to have firearms?

How much money will the package cost? No one has said it, although people familiar with the discussions say a $15 billion margin is possible. And how is it paid?

A leader of the effort, Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told reporters Monday that negotiators plan to pay the cost by offsetting budget cuts or new revenue. The latter could be a no-go for Republicans.

Leaders hope the package can be written and approved before Congress enters its recess on July 4.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., discussed the gun lobby and how profits correlate with gun deaths in America.

WHAT’S OUT?

President Joe Biden has proposed either reviving the 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired after ten years, or raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21. He wants to ban high-capacity magazines.

He would revoke the legal immunity from liability for arms manufacturers. He wants to demand safe storage of weapons and a federal “red flag” law for states without weapons.

None of them made it to the bill; nor universal background checks. Either way, Biden supports the deal in the name of a compromise that would deliver a performance.

OUTLOOK FORWARD?

Ten senators from each side joined in announcing the gun outline and said they supported it. Those numbers are no coincidence.

They may signal enough support for approval by the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 GOP supporters to reach the usual 60-vote threshold. Besides Murphy, the other chief negotiators were Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, RN.C.

Approval in the Democrat-led House is expected, although complications can always arise.

sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., gave a fiery speech on the Senate floor, criticizing colleagues over gun control inaction. “Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate… if your answer is, when the slaughter increases, while our children are running for their lives – we don’t do anything?”

MORE RESTRICTIONS?

Another negotiator, Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he hopes Republicans will see that “the gun lobby is weaker than they think.” But there are signs that adopting future restrictions will be a challenge.

For starters, this spurt of action against guns is Congress’ most significant since the now-expired ban on assault weapons was enacted three decades ago. That shows how hardened positions can be permanent.

Another clue is the composition of the 20 announced supporters of the agreement. Blumenthal and Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., are the only two running for reelection this year.

Four others, all Republicans, will retire in January: Sens. Roy Blunt from Missouri, Richard Burr from North Carolina, Rob Portman from Ohio and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania.

The rest will not be re-elected until 2024 or 2026.

It’s the Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Susan Collins from Maine, Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and Mitt Romney from Utah.

The Democrats are Sens. Cory Booker from New Jersey, Chris Coons from Delaware, Martin Heinrich from New Mexico, Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow from Michigan.

Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, affiliated with the Democrats, also supported the proposal.


AP reporter Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

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