Democrat President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the new gun control legislation that a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has agreed to does not go far enough in stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” Biden said. “With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House.”
Biden thanked four Senators, Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), for their “tireless work to produce this proposal.”
Other Senators that were part of the bipartisan group included Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Cory Booker (D- NJ), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
They released a statement that included nine points of focus:
- Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders
Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.
- Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services
National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
- Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
Convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
- Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services
Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.
- Funding for School Safety Resources
Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.
- Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer
Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
- Telehealth Investments
Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.
- Under 21 Enhanced Review Process
For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.
- Penalties for Straw Purchasing
Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.
“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” the Senators said in a statement. “Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”