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BREAKING: Senate Agrees on Gun Control Package 

Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators agreed on a package of measures that, if passed, would be the first major federal action on gun control in nearly 26 years. 

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who spearheaded the negotiations, spoke about the scope of the plan. 

“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,” he said in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica. 

“Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” he added. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”

Per Murphy’s release, the proposal includes:

  • Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders – 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.
  • Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services – 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 – 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.
  • Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services – Invests 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 – Invests 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 Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer – Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
  • Telehealth Investments – Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.
  • Under 21 Enhanced Review Process – For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement. 
  • Penalties for Straw Purchasing – Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.

Everytown for Gun Safety, the anti-gun organization funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, was quick to take credit for the announcement and vowed to ensure it gets passed into law.  

“This bipartisan framework is a major step in finally getting federal action to address gun violence and, if passed, will save lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots arm of Everytown. 

“We’re breaking the logjam in Congress and proving that gun safety isn’t just good policy – it’s good politic,” she continued.  “Our grassroots army has been demanding action from the Senate for nearly a decade and now we’ll fight like hell to get this historic deal over the finish line.”

Mark Oliva, the director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, offered the following comment to GunsAmerica via email:

NSSF is encouraged that this announcement of the agreed-upon framework does not include proposals to ban certain classes of firearms or age-based gun bans. Those ideas pose serious Constitutional questions and the fact that they aren’t part of this proposal shows that this is a true potential starting point. There is still serious work to be done, however and this is far from a certain deal. This is just the framework and the text of these legislative proposals must be written in a manner that protects Constitutional rights, including Due Process rights when it comes to state “red flag” laws and any proposals to expand definitions of prohibited individuals. We are pleased to see that measure to improve school security and provide increased mental health resources are being included. We look forward to continuing to work with the Senate for real solutions for the safer communities we all want.

This story is developing, stay tuned for updates.

About the author:
S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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