Framework Would Lead to First Major Federal Gun Safety Law in Nearly 26 Years
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements on the historic agreement reached by a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators on major gun safety, mental health, and school safety provisions.
If enacted, the bipartisan framework would provide the basis for the first major federal gun safety law in nearly 26 years. The framework would establish an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provide federal funding to implement and incentivize state Red Flag laws, disarm domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, clarify which sellers are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms and therefore required to become licensed gun dealers and run background checks, and crack down on gun trafficking, among other items. 20 bipartisan U.S. senators, including Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory Booker (D- N.J.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), released the agreed-upon framework after weeks of good faith bipartisan negotiations.
“If the framework announced today gets enacted into law, it will be the most significant piece of gun safety legislation to make it through Congress in 26 long and deadly years,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud this bipartisan coalition, led by Senators Murphy and Cornyn, for leading this push to address our nation’s raging gun violence crisis, and we call on their colleagues to answer the call of history, and honor the victims and survivors of gun violence with long overdue action.”
“This bipartisan framework is a major step in finally getting federal action to address gun violence and, if passed, will save lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We’re breaking the logjam in Congress and proving that gun safety isn’t just good policy – it’s good politics. Our grassroots army has been demanding action from the Senate for nearly a decade and now we’ll fight like hell to get this historic deal over the finish line.”
“This is a huge step for gun safety,” said Aspen Fain, a Kentucky Students Demand Action volunteer. “Too many students have been waiting their whole lives to see meaningful progress from our leaders on Capitol Hill and I’m thankful to our lawmakers for making gun safety a priority in this critical time. Young people won’t stop fighting until this deal is done – and look forward to the day we are celebrating in Washington, D.C. instead of begging our lawmakers to keep us safe.”
The framework released today includes lifesaving gun safety measures, mental health investments, and school safety funding, including:
- ENHANCING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR BUYERS UNDER 21: Establishing an enhanced background check process and investigative period for buyers under age 21 that would require searching additional state databases and checking with local law enforcement before a sale proceeds.
- IMPLEMENTING AND INCENTIVIZING RED FLAG LAWS: Providing much-needed funding to support implementation of existing state Red Flag laws and incentivize new states to pass Red Flag laws.
- DISARMING DOMESTIC ABUSERS: Expanding the current prohibition on convicted domestic abusers and domestic abusers subject to a final restraining order from buying or possessing guns beyond those who abused their spouses to also include those who abused someone in a continuing romantic or intimate relationship – addressing what is known as the “dating partner loophole.”
- CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF A GUN DEALER: Clarifying existing law on what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, so that it is clearer when unlicensed people selling guns to strangers are required to obtain a Federal Firearms License and run background checks on all sales.
- CRACKING DOWN ON GUN TRAFFICKING: Increasing penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing, which is currently only prosecuted as a paperwork violation.
- INVESTING IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND ACCESS: Expanding community mental health services for children and families, funding school-based mental health and supportive services, investing in telehealth mental health services to expand access, and investing in community crisis intervention programs.
- PROVIDING SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING: Funding school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.
Since the tragic shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, Everytown supporters, alongside gun violence survivors and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, have shown up in Washington, D.C., and in the home states of U.S. senators to call for action, sending over 840,000 calls and messages to the U.S. Senate and dropping off tens of thousands of petitions at home state offices urging them to take bold action. Last weekend, Everytown and Moms Demand Action held more than 350 events across all 50 states for National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. Within the last week, Everytown and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action held two rallies on Capitol Hill. Everytown also launched a $400,000 ad campaign targeting key U.S. senators.