Senate Gun Safety Proposal
Over this past weekend, a group of 20 senators (10 Republicans and 10 Democrats) reached a deal on a “framework” for a gun-control package. Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and President Biden are all supportive of this package. With at least 10 Senate Republicans in favor of the legislation, the deal will be able to overcome the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. The bipartisan group led by Senators Murphy and Cornyn are hoping to pass the legislation by the July 4th recess, but to reach that goal, the legislative text, which is still being written, will need to be released by next week. The package includes:
- Funding to assist states adopt and set up their own “red flag” laws. These allow law enforcement agencies and close family members to submit petitions to a court to temporarily remove guns from those considered a danger to themselves and others. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently have such laws in place.
- Funding for school safety and community mental health clinics totaled $7 billion for these clinics, which are based on an existing federal program and will include telehealth programs.
- Closing the “boyfriend loophole.” Domestic violence abusers and individuals “subject to domestic violence restraining orders” will be added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System led by the FBI, including romantic partners.
- New barriers on “straw purchases” of guns, which is designed to cut down on illegal weapons trafficking.
- Enhanced background checks for gun buyers under 21. This includes a “short pause” for a check of juvenile criminal and mental health records.
- New restrictions on gun sellers who “illegally evade” federal firearms licensing requirements.