WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in decades, Congress could pass gun reform legislation. Over the weekend, the bipartisan group of Senators laid out the framework for new gun laws following the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.
“To increase the age of owning a gun,” said Cal, a fifth-grade student at the March for our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. We asked him why he wants to raise the age of owning a gun. “Because all of the shootings have been kids, under the age of 21.”
Cal said he’s afraid of going to school following the recent mass shootings.
“Because at any moment, someone can walk in with a gun at my school,” said Cal.
Since the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, people across the country are calling on Congress for gun reform legislation.
“Four years ago, nothing on the federal level changed and it broke my heart with Uvalde and to come out here and raise my voice again,” said March for our Lives rally-goer Margaret Tice. “It’s the only thing I can do besides vote.”
Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senator Pat Toomey (R- PA), announced they’ve reached a deal. Here’s what they came up with:
Funding to help states to pass and implement crisis intervention orders, like “red flag laws” that will temporarily take away guns from people who are deemed a threat to themselves or others; Billions for mental health and school safety funding; Closing loopholes so that someone convicted of domestic abuse cannot buy a gun; Making gun trafficking and straw purchasing illegal; Enhanced background checks for people younger than 21 years-old who want to buy a gun, including a short pause to conduct the check; And clarifying the laws on who needs to be registered as a licensed gun dealer.
While many members and activists said this framework is a good first step, it falls short on legislation other supporters wanted: a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles.
“I would like to see something,” said Tice. “Lets try something because something is better than nothing.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) said he wants to vote on this proposed framework as soon as possible. This bill does have ten Republican Senators supporting this, which means it could have a chance to pass in the Senate.