Bipartisan group of senators Unveiled a preliminary agreement to legalize gun safety Sunday, reviewing a suite of upcoming reforms to address one of the country’s most pressing and controversial issues after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Ovaldi, Texas.
One of the main factors that remains to be ironed out in the framework agreement is how the legislation is drafted. The declaration includes support for 10 Republican senators, which would give the proposal enough support to weather the Senate’s deadlock — but getting it through the legislative process will be a tough challenge for lawmakers ahead of the next congressional suspension in two weeks.
Still, Democrats have an ambitious goal: write the bill and keep Republicans on the alert before the next break, aides told CNN. Several details of the plan remain unsettled, according to an aide, who also provided CNN with a more detailed look Sunday at how some of the proposed arrangements might work.
Here’s what lawmakers have included in the framework and what they have left out.
What it contains:
“Red Flag” Laws
One of the most important elements of the framework is to help states develop and implement so-called red flag laws, which are intended to keep firearms away from those who pose a threat to themselves or others. This legislation would provide significant funding to help states create new red flag laws, but the 19 states — and Washington, D.C. — that already have these laws on the books would also be eligible for funding to improve the effectiveness of their programs in place.
Investing in mental health and relief
The proposal also includes “significant investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis, trauma and recovery intervention.”
Members will carefully pass these provisions over the next few weeks, because while Democrats consider them important, they want to make sure that most mentally ill people are not violent.
Close the escape of the named friend
The senators said the bill would address the so-called friend loophole, which deals with the ability of unmarried partners to keep a gun if they are convicted of acts of violence against a romantic partner.
Earlier this year, Senate negotiators involved in the Violence Against Women Act dropped the objections clause from the National Rifle Association, dealing a blow to Democrats. But its inclusion in this framework suggests that at least 10 Republicans are willing to oppose the country’s largest gun lobby on an issue in which they hold a long-standing position.
Currently, only a person who has been married, lived with, or has had a child with a partner who has been convicted of abuse can obtain a firearm. Closing this loophole could mean that anyone believed to have had a serious romantic relationship and had been convicted of domestic violence would not be eligible to own a gun.
Improved review process for buyers under 21
Another major change in the legislation is the introduction of a more comprehensive review process for people between the ages of 18 and 21 who will purchase a firearm such as an AR-15. As part of a background check, the National Immediate Criminal Examination System should also contact state and local law enforcement to look for any ineligible mental health or juvenile records, according to the Democratic aide.
The NICS must call the appropriate agency that adjudicates mental health cases in each state. NICS will have up to 3 days to complete the research, but it can be extended for another seven days if the initial review raises concerns, meaning the process could take a total of 10 days.
This is not a specific waiting period, as each individual’s examination can be very different, ranging from a few hours to 10 days.
Clarify the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer
The wording of this provision is still under discussion, but more gun dealers who are found to be “involved in the firearms trade” should be advised of the need to register to become federally licensed firearms dealers. This is important because it means that these agents must do background checks under federal law.
School Safety Resources
The legislation will touch on an area that Republicans have focused on in recent weeks: school safety. In their statement, the lawmakers said the proposal provides funds to “help establish safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools,” while supporting “school violence prevention efforts” and training school staff and students.
what’s left :
Extended background checks
Notably, the deal does not include a clause that would expand background checks for all firearm sales or transfers in the country. Currently, background checks are not required for gun sales and transfers by private and unlicensed sellers.
Democrats have long supported such a requirement, and last year the House passed a firearms law that would expand background checks on all commercial gun sales, marking the first Congressional resolution on major gun control since Democrats won the White House and majorities in the House and Senate. . . .
Offensive weapons ban
The federal ban on military-style assault weapons, another measure Democrats have pushed for in recent years, citing mass shootings using such weapons, has also been ruled out.
Minimum purchase age
Additionally, the deal does not include a change in the age a person must have to purchase an attack-type weapon. Democrats, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the House, said the age to purchase assault weapons should be raised from 18 to 21.