WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan group of senators has reached a general agreement on new gun legislation after weeks of negotiations in the wake of recent mass shootings, including the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school massacre.
Twenty senators -- including the 10 Republicans needed to avoid a filibuster -- released a statement Sunday confirming the deal, saying in part: "Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities."
Among other provisions, the agreement would provide funding for mental health, incentives for the creation of so-called "red flag" laws to remove firearms from people who are a danger to themselves or others, increase money for school safety and strengthen the federal background check system as it relates to convicted domestic violence abusers or those with restraining orders.
"For buyers under 21 years of age, [the deal would require] an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement," the bipartisan group said.
Following the announcement, President Joe Biden tweeted that the agreement is a step in the right direction.
I want to thank Senator Chris Murphy and the bipartisan group for their gun safety proposal. It does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction.— President Biden (@POTUS) June 12, 2022
With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay. Let’s get this done.
A Republican aide involved in the negotiations stressed that the agreement is on principles -- not details, which will be critical for Republicans, particularly the firearms-related provisions. One or more of these provisions could be dropped, the aide said.
The House has separately taken up its own gun control measures, though the Senate has shown little interest in those proposals.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to ABC15.com for updates.