Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt is one of 10 Senate Republicans saying yes to a tentative deal designed to prevent future mass killing. It could pave the way for one of the most historic actions taken by Congress in the era of mass shootings.
The plan comes after 21 people were killed by an 18-year-old gunman last month at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen of the victims were children and two were teachers.
The framework announced Sunday is a statement of principles, not a fully written bill with a price tag to fund these programs. The ten Senate Republicans showing support is enough to clear a potential filibuster, which is used to delay Senate passage of a bill.
A key piece of the deal is legislation sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. It would create a nationwide network of community behavioral health clinics and addiction services, along with funding for school-based mental health support.
Blunt, who is not running for re-election this year, has been a leading advocate for increased access to mental health services and services provided by community health centers.
The agreement includes enhanced background checks for those 18 to 21 years old.
It also contains grants for states to adopt red flag laws, which are designed to keep guns away from people at-risk of being a threat to themselves or others.
Closing the “boyfriend loophole” is another main piece of the plan. This effort aims to prevent convicted domestic violence abusers from having guns.
The agreement might not go far enough for some. Absent in the deal is a proposed requirement to raise the minimum age for buying some rifles from 18 to 21 years old.
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