21 June 2022

Senators say agreement on gun violence compromise is at hand

21 June 2022

Senators in Washington DC have moved to the brink of an agreement on a bipartisan gun violence bill, the Democrats’ lead negotiator has said.

The move potentially sets up votes this week on an incremental but notable package that would stand as Congress’s response to the mass shootings in Texas and New York that shook the nation.

Nine days after Senate negotiators agreed to a framework proposal — and 29 years after Congress last enacted a major measure curbing firearms — Sen Chris Murphy told reporters that a final agreement on the proposal’s details was at hand.

Protesters hold up signs during a gun control rally (Keith Birmingham/The Orange County Register via AP) (AP)

The legislation lawmakers have been working toward would toughen background checks for the youngest firearms buyers, require more sellers to conduct background checks and beef up penalties on gun traffickers.

It also would disburse money to states and communities aimed at improving school safety and mental health initiatives.

“I think we’ve reached agreement,” Mr Murphy said. “And just we’re dotting the Is and crossing the Ts right now. I think we’re in good shape.”

Sen John Cornyn, the chief Republican negotiator, spoke on the Senate floor moments later and said he, Mr Murphy and the other two top Senate negotiators had “reached agreement”.

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