A bipartisan group of senators is likely to announce an agreement on reforms to the nation’s gun laws as early as this afternoon, multiple sources familiar with the talks confirmed to CBS News.
A bipartisan group of senators is likely to announce an agreement on reforms to the nation’s gun laws as early as this afternoon, multiple sources familiar with the talks confirmed to CBS News, a deal that is the culmination of weeks of negotiations sparked by the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
One person familiar with the negotiations told CBS News that a “framework of principles and programs” is set to be unveiled later Sunday. The agreement, this person said, includes providing federal incentives to states to pass “red flag” laws; improving the background check system; more funding for mental health programs; increased funding for school safety programs; and plans to address gun trafficking and straw purchases.
“It looks to me like we are on the verge of something a little bit later. We just need a couple more sign-ons, but we’re close,” the source said. CNN was first to report the expected announcement.
Now that a general framework is in place, lawmakers “have to put it into language,” which “shouldn’t take too long,” the person said.
A bipartisan group of senators began working last month to find common ground on reforms to gun laws in response to the massacres at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo and an elementary school in Uvalde, which together left 31 people, including 19 children, dead.
While prior attempts at passing gun control legislation have failed, senators involved in the latest round of negotiations have been optimistic they would reach an agreement on a plan that would garner support from at least 10 Republicans, whose backing is needed in order for legislation to advance in the 50-50 Senate.
President Biden has said he supports the efforts in the Senate, but has continued to pressure Congress to take legislative action to harden gun laws. While the president has advocated for lawmakers to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, or raise the minimum purchasing age for those firearms from 18 to 21 and strengthen background checks, among other measures, the Senate has instead been working toward a more narrow proposal that would have GOP support.
Separately, the House last week passed a package of bills that raises the age to buy a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21 years old; bans large-capacity magazines; incentivizes safe storage of firearms and establishes requirements regulating storage of guns on residential premises, and builds on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ regulatory ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly.
The legislation passed by the House, however, is unlikely to clear the Senate.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism