A bipartisan group of United States senators unveiled the text of a new federal gun reform bill that, if passed, would be the first major gun safety legislation passed in the US since 1994.
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) finalized the legislation text last week after agreeing on the overall terms of the bill over weeks of negotiations following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas late last month. The bill, now written, may come up for a vote in the upper chamber as early as the next few days.
If passed, the bill would mark a major milestone in the fight for gun reform in the United States, with the last major gun legislation passed almost 30 years ago. Since then, the ban on so-called assault weapons has expired and has not been renewed by Congress. The new legislation includes a set of measures that the senators hope will garner support from both sides of the aisle.
“Today, we finalized bipartisan, common sense legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights,” the four lawmakers said in a statement. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense legislation into law.”
The bill includes expanded background checks for those aged 18 to 21, closure of the “boyfriend loophole” which allows those convicted of domestic violence to possess firearms, funding for school mental health programs, and funding for anti-violence programs in each state.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has previously committed to expediting the bill. “Once the text of this agreement is finalized, and I hope it will be as soon as possible, I will put this bill on the floor quickly so the Senate can move quickly to make gun safety reform a reality,” said Schumer.