US Senators Reach a Bipartisan Agreement on Gun Safety Legislation

US Senators Reach a Bipartisan Agreement on Gun Safety Legislation

U.S. Lawmakers Reach a Bipartisan Deal For America

( – Over the last several months, America has endured several mass shootings. Still, in times past, lawmakers were hesitant to enact new gun laws. That may be changing after the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. The circumstance prompted a bipartisan effort by the US Senate to begin working on new legislation. Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, 10 GOP Senators began negotiating with Democrats and have apparently agreed to a package they say will make America safer while protecting gun rights.

On Sunday, June 12, 20 lawmakers evenly split between Democrats and Republicans announced an agreement they hope will slow down mass gun violence. Later in the day, President Joe Biden issued a statement thanking the Senators. Still, there are more questions than answers, and if Democrats attempt to add to the legislation, it could derail it in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to send a bill to the president’s desk.

Biden Praises the Legislation

The bipartisan agreement proposes to add more scrutiny on those under 21 who want to purchase an assault weapon, add domestic violence restraining orders to a list of criteria in criminal background checks, provide incentives to states to pass red flag laws, increase federal spending for mental health, and improve school security.

In a statement released by the White House, the president praised the bipartisan group of lawmakers for securing the deal. Biden said the legislation was the most significant gun safety legislation in decades. Still, the commander-in-chief argued that the bill didn’t go far enough regarding gun control but said it moved things in the right direction.

Biden noted Congress had no reason to delay the legislation due to the bipartisan agreement. He called on the Senate and House to pass it quickly so he could sign the bill into law. He argued children in the country were dying from gun violence every day and said the sooner he signed it, the faster the government could save lives.

The ten Republicans who support the framework include Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Questions Remain About the Effectiveness and Constitutionality of Red Flag Laws

While the bipartisan group and president praise the bill, some Republicans are suspicious of the legislation, especially the red flag laws. Nonetheless, as long as Democrats don’t add to the legislation, the 10 GOP Senators involved in the negotiations will likely vote for the bill, ensuring its passage in the Senate.

Still, questions remain around a signature provision in the bill. In December 2018, A Michigan State University academic study of red flag laws posed an important question: Do they work? The study concluded that red flag laws don’t protect people from murders or suicides and may even increase them out of fear that the authorities will take away their possessions.

In 2021, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Caniglia v. Strom that red flag laws violated the Second and Fourth Amendments while abolishing due process rights.

If Biden signs the bill into law, there could be legal challenges ahead for it.

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