Twenty U.S. senators, Republicans and Democrats, on Sunday announced an agreement on several provisions to better regulate the use of firearms. These measures come at a minimum after recent killings that shocked the United States.
These measures, which could be obtained by a qualified majority in the Senate, include an incentive for states to withdraw weapons from those deemed dangerous as well as others aimed at mental health and safety in schools. But they do not include most of the reforms called for by Democrats and Joe Biden.
The President of the United States, however, immediately welcomed the insufficient but “significant” “progress.” He said in a statement that it would be “the most significant gun control text to be voted on in Congress in decades.”
“Common sense proposal”
Ten Republican senators are among the signatories of the statement announcing the compromise. Their presence suggests that such a text has a real chance of passing in the Senate if all 50 elected Democrats are in favor. A qualified majority of 60 votes is needed for such a bill to be passed, which has so far blocked any major progress towards better gun control, due to opposition from the Conservatives.
The massacre that left 21 people dead, including 19 children, in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, had triggered several parliamentary initiatives, including that of this group of senators, led by Democrat Chris Murphy, who has been quietly working in recent days to find an agreement that can be approved by Congress.
Twenty senators, ten Republicans and 10 Democrats, agreed on “a common-sense proposal, backed by both parties, to protect American children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the danger of violence through the country, ”the statement said.
Their proposals also include strengthening the criminal and psychological background check for gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21, as well as federal funding for various mental health programs.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets in many cities across the country, including the capital Washington, to “stop these massacres” and call on Congress to pass reforms to better restrict access to weapons on fire.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a different text with stronger measures, including a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles to under-21s and a ban on high-capacity magazines, but it has almost no chance of move to the Senate.
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