President Joe Biden announced his support for the Senate’s bipartisan arms control deal on Sunday, despite his doubts it was not enough.
“Obviously it doesn’t do everything I think it needs to, but it reflects important steps in the right direction and would be the most important gun safety legislation Congress would pass in decades,” Biden said in a statement.
The agreement does not include Biden’s demands for a ban on so-called “assault weapons”, raising the minimum age to 21 for the purchase of some semi-automatic rifles, or banning high-capacity magazines.
But Biden urged Congress to pass the legislation and thanked Republicans for working with Democrats to get things done.
“With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it shouldn’t move quickly through the Senate and House,” he wrote.
The agreement will support states to enact red flag laws and also requires enhanced background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, including youth and mental health records.
“Every day that goes by, more children are being killed in this country: the sooner it gets to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives,” Biden wrote.
Biden also endorsed the bill on social media.
“It doesn’t do everything I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction,” he wrote. “With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay. Let’s get this done.”
I want to thank Senator Chris Murphy and the bipartisan group for their gun safety proposal. It doesn’t do everything I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction.
With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay. Let’s get this done.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 12, 2022
A bipartisan group of 16 senators released details of an agreement Sunday afternoon:
Support for intervention orders for state crisis
● Provides resources for states and tribes to enact and enforce laws to ensure that lethal weapons are kept out of the hands of persons deemed by the court to be a significant danger to themselves or others, in accordance with due process of state and federal government and constitutional protection.
Investing in mental health services for children and families
● National expansion of the neighborhood health care 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.
Protection for victims of domestic violence
● Convicted perpetrators of domestic violence and persons subject to restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who are or have had an ongoing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
Funding for school-based mental health and support services
● Invests in programs to expand mental health and support services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school-based mental health and general services.
Funding for School Safety Resources
● Invests in programs that help establish security measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support efforts to prevent violence in schools, and provide training for school staff and students.
Clarification of the definition of a federally recognized firearms dealer
● Tackles criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
Investments in telehealth.
● Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis through telecare.
Under 21 Improved review process.
● Buyers under 21 require an investigation period to review youth and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement officers.
Sanctions for buying straw
● Rises hard on criminals who illegally purchase and trade weapons.
The two-party deal was approved by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), 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).