Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

U.S. senators reach deal on gun safety

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U.S. senators reach deal on gun safety

Three weeks after 19 children and two teachers died in a gun massacre at a Texas elementary school, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators yesterday struck a deal on a gun control bill. The agreement includes enhanced background checks for people under the age of 21 and a provision to close the “boyfriend loophole” by extending to dating partners a prohibition on gun ownership for domestic abusers.

The deal, which still faces a perilous path in Congress, amounts to notable progress. But it falls far short of the sprawling reforms that President Biden, gun control activists and a majority of Democrats have long championed, such as universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.

Democrats hailed the plan, which would also toughen federal laws to stop gun trafficking and ensure that all commercial sellers are conducting background checks, as an opportunity to pass the most significant gun safety legislation in decades. The backing of 10 Republicans suggested that the plan could yet draw the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate.

Next steps: Senators were still haggling over crucial details, including how much additional time law enforcement would have to review juvenile and mental health records for prospective gun buyers younger than 21.

Quotable: Biden urged Congress to pass a gun safety measure quickly, saying there were “no excuses for delay.” He added: “Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country.”

New York Times

By Chala Dandessa

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