“Common Sense” Bipartisan Gun Deal: No “Assault Weapons” Ban Or Raised Minimum Rifle Age

Though the compromise excludes President Joe Biden’s “assault weapons” ban and a raised minimum age for rifle purchases, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal on gun control legislation today, in the wake of recent mass shootings.

The deal includes: expanded mental health services, school safety – all of which are Republican priorities, with expanded background checks for those under the age of 21, who will now have juvenile records screened before gun purchases – a Democratic priority.

While neither side could be said to get everything they wanted, this bipartisan effort is a step toward addressing more than just AR15’ restrictions. There is no restriction on buying a gun, merely more scrutiny involved when doing so especially for those under 21 years of age. Additionally, this deal addresses the mental health issue that is critical to preventing those with a mental health background or a questionable history of social deviance determined by a court of law, to obtain a firearm.

As such, the following group of U.S. Senators have reached a bipartisan agreement, hoping it makes it to Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.

The following is a list of 20 participating U.S. Senators:

Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D- N.J.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

In bringing this agreement forward they issued the following statement:

-“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. 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.”

-Bipartisan Senate Members As Above

The proposed bipartisan measure calls for:

  • Intervention Orders that provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.
  • Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services by investing in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.
  • Funding for School Safety Resources by investing in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.
  • Clarification of the Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers, cracking down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
  • Investing in Children and Family Mental Health Services by National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
  • Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence by convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  • Outlining an Under 21 Enhanced Review Process that vets buyers under 21 years of age, requiring an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.
  • Penalties for Straw Purchasing which cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns
  • Providing Telehealth Investments in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.

Releasing a statement welcoming the announcement of the agreement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke of the value of dialogue and cooperation. Though he side-stepped a direct endorsement of the framework, he shared his support of the effort-

“I continue to hope their discussions yield a bipartisan product that makes significant headway on key issues like mental health and school safety, respects the Second Amendment, earns broad support in the Senate, and makes a difference for our country.”

-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

There are many who believe that the red flag laws will give democrats room to falsify backgrounds or charge law abiding citizens with questionable findings upon this advanced scrutiny, or just outright pull guns from those who they plant false information on. Time will tell. It has also been reported that, this package would also close what’s known as the “boyfriend loophole”, by broadening firearms restrictions on those who have abused their romantic partners. Again, this is a measure that can possibly identify mental health issues that have gone unchecked.

Whether the “progressive”- led Democratic caucus in the House, will pass their own watered – down version of the bill, or if the proposal can pass the 60-vote threshold required to defeat a legislative filibuster, in the Senate, only time will tell.

“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,” 

-Bipartisan Senate Members As Above

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