US Senate negotiators reach agreement on bipartisan gun violence bill in wake of Uvalde, Buffalo mass shootings

US Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a bipartisan gun violence bill.

The deal calls for votes this week on a package that would be Congress’s response to the recent mass shootings in Texas and New York.

Nine days after Senate negotiators agreed to a framework proposal — and 29 years after Congress last passed major gun restrictions — Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy told reporters that a deal on the details of the proposal had been concluded and was “in good shape”.

Moments later, Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator, said he, Mr. Murphy and the other two Senate negotiators had reached an agreement.

The legislation would toughen background checks for younger gun buyers, require more sellers to complete background checks and toughen penalties for gun traffickers.

It would also give states and communities money to improve school safety and mental health initiatives.

White crosses and many flowers surround the school sign at Robb Elementary after a massacre, police in the background
Nineteen students and two teachers died in the Uvalde shooting.(AP Photo: Jae C. Hong)

Missing are the far more powerful proposals that President Joe Biden backs and that Democrats have pushed for years without success, which have been misguided by the Republican opposition.

These include banning assault weapons or raising the minimum age to buy them, banning high-capacity magazines, and requiring background checks for virtually all gun sales.

Yet, if passed, the election-year deal would highlight a small but telling shift in policy on an issue that has defied compromise since Bill Clinton was president.

Ten black shoppers were killed by a gunman last month in Buffalo, New York, and 19 children and two teachers were shot dead by another assailant days later in Uvalde, Texas.

“I believe that the same people who tell us to do something are sending us a clear message, to do what we can to keep our children and our communities safe.

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