There was some movement yesterday on the allegedly bipartisan gun legislation; the 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans have agreed to a framework, which is not the same thing as a bill. And there is plenty of time for Sens. Susan Collins to be disappointed and for John Cornyn to smother this thing in its sleep.
The framework has none (or almost none) of the items that President Handsome Joe Biden wanted, and has none (or almost none) or the demands of the Democrats. What it does have:
- enhanced background checks for buyers under 21
- funding to incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws
- funding for mental health and school safety
- closing the so-called boyfriend loophole, which allows people to buy guns even if they were convicted of domestic violence against a partner they were dating (but not married to)
People 21 —or over— who have no record of gun violence would be free to buy any rifle they want. We also note that the three largest mass shootings in US history were committed by people over the age of 18:
- Las Vegas in 2017 was committed by a 64-year-old.
- Florida 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting was done by a 29-year-old.
- Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 was by a 23-year-old.
So NOTHING in the framework would not have stopped any of them.
From the NYTimes article:
Senate negotiators announced on Sunday they had agreed on a bipartisan outline for a narrow set of gun safety measures with sufficient support to move through the evenly divided chamber, a significant step toward ending a yearslong congressional impasse on the issue.
The plan, endorsed by 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, would include funding for mental health resources, boosting school safety and grants for states to implement so-called red flag laws that allow authorities to confiscate guns from people deemed to be dangerous. It would also expand the nation’s background check system to include juvenile records for any prospective gun buyer under the age of 21.
As TBotP morning email thingie says,
— “[T]ranslating a framework into an actual bill often proves challenging,” Burgess and Marianne write. “[A] GOP aide involved in the negotiations stressed that Sunday’s agreement was an ‘agreement on principles, not legislative text.’”
— “Hurdles remain on converting the framework into a detailed proposal, including how much to spend on the programs, how they would be paid for, and how the money would be distributed,” WSJ’s Natalie Andrews writes. “There are no specifics, for example, on what type of law a state must pass to receive a grant relating to implementing extreme protection orders, commonly called red-flag laws, which allow for guns to be removed from a person who is deemed unsafe.”
It probably would be better to say that this is a mental health/domestic violence framework than gun violence framework. As a domestic violence and mental health bill, this is pretty significant and should be applauded. As a gun violence bill, this is pretty weak.