A bipartisan group of senators on Sunday came to a tentative gun control agreement. The negotiations were led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
Actual legislative text has yet to be drafted. The agreement, however, 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 interview 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 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
- Crack down on criminals who illegal evade licensing requirements.
- 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.
President Joe Biden and Democrats have continually pushed for other gun control measures, like re-instating an Assault Weapons Ban. He indicated his disappointment with the deal.
“I want to thank Senator Chris Murphy and the members of his bipartisan group—especially Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Tillis—for their tireless work to produce this proposal. Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” the president said in a statement. “With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House. Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country: the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives.”
It’s important to note that many of the so-called “proposals” included in this agreement are already on the books. Straw purchases are already illegal and those convicted of domestic violence are considered prohibited possessors. The problem is whether or not those convictions are actually turned into NICS.
One of the proposals we need to keep our eyes on is a national red flag law. The biggest concern is whether or not due process will be included.