Twenty senators — 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans — signed a statement announcing the framework deal. The move indicated that the agreement could have enough GOP support to defeat a filibuster, the Senate supermajority rule that has impeded previous gun legislation.
“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” the statement read in part. “Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”
Under the tentative deal, a federal grant program would encourage states to implement red-flag laws that allow authorities to keep guns away from people found by a judge to represent a potential threat to themselves or others, while federal criminal background checks for gun buyers younger than 21 would include a mandatory search of juvenile justice and mental health records for the first time.
Other provisions would prevent gun sales to domestic violence offenders other than spouses, closing what is often called the “boyfriend loophole”; clarify which gun sellers are required to register as federal firearms dealers and, thus, run background checks on customers; and establish new federal offenses related to gun trafficking.
The agreement does not include a provision supported by President Biden, congressional Democrats and a handful of Republicans that would raise the minimum age for the purchase of at least some rifles from 18 to 21. Handguns are already subject to a federal 21-and-older rule.
Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), the lead Democratic negotiator, said in an interview Sunday that the compromise would have detractors on both the right and the left but that it would ultimately make a “meaningful difference” in…