“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. 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 group of senators said in a press release on the announcement.
The senators include: Chris Murphy, John Cornyn, Thom Tillis , Kyrsten Sinema, Richard Blumenthal, Roy Blunt, Cory Booker, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Martin Heinrich, Mark Kelly, Angus King, Joe Manchin, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Debbie Stabenow, and Pat Toomey.
“Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons. Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law,” the senators continued in their group statement.
The proposal includes initiatives to support state crisis intervention orders; a national expansion of mental health services for children and families; expanding mental health programs in schools; enhanced review process for gun buyers under the age of 21; penalties for straw purchases; additional funding for school resource officers.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement in support of the agreement later Sunday, saying he was “glad Senators Cornyn and Murphy are continuing to make headway in their discussions.”
FILE – Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, talk to reporters following a closed-door policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. In the aftermath of recent horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, a bipartisan group of senators, including Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are holding private virtual meetings during recess to try to strike a compromise over gun safety legislation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
“I continue to hope their discussions yield a bipartisan product that makes significant headway on key issues like mental health and school safety, respects the Second Amendment, earns broad support in the Senate, and makes a difference for our country,” McConnell added in his statement.
“This an agreement on principles, not legislative text. The details will be critical for Republicans, particularly the firearms-related provisions. One or more of these principles could be dropped if the text is not agreed to,” a GOP aide involved with the negotiations told Fox News.
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