Supporters, survivors applaud ‘new beginnings’ with Senate arms deal — but want more done

Gun security advocates and organizations quickly cheered the anti-gun violence announced by a bipartisan group of senators on Sunday, but some called for further action.

The agreement, if passed into law, includes provisions that would increase investment in mental health services and fund school safety resources, as well as the federal background check system. It would also encourage the creation of “red flag” laws to prevent people who pose a danger to themselves or others from having firearms.

Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas have renewed efforts to pass legislation designed to tackle gun violence.

The deal released Sunday, however, reflected how closely Democrats control Congress, in that it modestly mixed new gun restrictions — rather than the broader bans the party favored — with other provisions to prevent a filibuster- proof number of Republican votes.

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, a survivor of mass shootings, wrote on Twitter“Eleven years ago, a bullet changed my life forever. Six of my constituents were killed, several injured. And Congress has done nothing since.

“But today our country is taking an important step forward with the announcement of a bipartisan arms security framework. This bipartisan agreement on arms security could mark the first time in 30 years that Congress has taken major action on arms security.”

Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 during a rally with voters near Tucson, Arizona.

Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords poses for a photo at a memorial on the National Mall commemorating victims of gun violence, where members of Congress spoke to call for action on gun safety legislation in Washington, June 7, 2022.

Tom Williams/AP

Other gun control proponents also praised the Senate deal – which is pending further agreement on the draft bill itself – but called on Congress to do more.

“In a less fractured society, we could demand a background check every time someone wants to buy a gun, and we’d ban assault rifles outright,” said David Hogg, co-founder of March for Our Lives, who studied in college. the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

David Hogg speaks at March for Our Lives in Washington, June 11, 2022.

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

“But if even one life is saved or one mass shooting attempt is prevented because of these regulations, we believe it will be worth fighting for… This bill, the first of its kind in 30 years, would should be the beginning, not the end, of the work of Congress,” Hogg said in his statement.

Likewise gun-reform supporter Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was killed in Parkland, too tweeted measured approval“While not much in here, the result is a 30-year breakthrough. This is gun safety legislation that will save lives and reduce gun violence.”

Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, also said she supported the compromise.

Hockley is the CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise gun violence prevention organization. She tweeted“It won’t solve all gun violence, but it proves we can work together and represents the most significant new federal firearms restrictions introduced since the mid-1990s.”

PHOTO: Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks at a news conference in Trumbull, Conn., Feb. 15, 2022.

Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks at a news conference in Trumbull, Conn., Feb. 15, 2022.

Seth Wenig/AP, FILE

Some national organizations emphasized how the new framework could break a years-long deadlock over gun laws in Congress, where conservatives say they don’t want to violate their interpretation of the Second Amendment.

“This is a historic new beginning that breaks the arms industry’s stranglehold… This framework is commendable, but it is not the end of our efforts. We will not rest until this framework becomes satisfactory legislation and President Biden signs that legislation into law,” Kris Brown, president of the Brady Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence, said in a statement.

In a joint statement, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action called the deal “historic.”

“If the framework announced today is passed into law, it will be the most important gun safety legislation to pass Congress in 26 long and deadly years,” said Everytown for Gun Safety president John Feinblatt.

“We are breaking the blockade in Congress and proving that gun security is not only good policy, but good politics,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said in her statement.

Justin Gomez of ABC News contributed to this report.

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