Liberal gun control groups back bipartisan Senate bill despite modest provisions

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The bipartisan gun bill set to pass the Senate ahead of the July 4 break doesn’t go as far as many liberal gun control groups would like, but they support it anyway , saying it’s an important step to reduce shootings.

“This package isn’t perfect. It doesn’t go as far as we would like. But it’s an incredibly significant step forward,” Christian Heyne, Brady United vice-chairman for policy, said in an interview. with Fox News Digital. “A month ago, I would have said that such a package would have been impossible.”

Heyne credited Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., with ignoring many people who believed the same thing and still pushing negotiations with Republicans forward.

After weeks of talks led by Murphy and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, senators released the text of a bill Tuesday night, and it authorized a test vote in the Senate hours later.

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The Uvalde, Texas mass shooting that killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school has sparked serious negotiations in the Senate over gun legislation.
(AP/Eric Gay)

Officially titled the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” the bill would provide funding for states to create programs that could keep guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, often referred to as red flag laws. It would also improve background checks for gun buyers under 21, add penalties for certain gun criminals, and provide funding for a variety of health and mental health-related programs.

The bill follows several recent mass shootings, including one in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school.

“We know this bill will save lives,” said Robin Lloyd, chief executive of Giffords, another gun control group. She told Fox News Digital that the bill is a “historic moment in bipartisan cooperation on the issue of gun safety.”

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Lloyd welcomed the proposed $750 million in federal funding for the red flag laws. This money can also be used for other types of interventions with the same objective, including drug courts and mental health courts.

Brady United Vice President for Policy Christian Heyne credited Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., pictured above, with pushing for a major gun package even when it looked like there was little GOP appetite for one.

Brady United Vice President for Policy Christian Heyne credited Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., pictured above, with pushing for a major gun package even when it looked like there was little GOP appetite for one.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The bill also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole to include “romantic partners” in the definition of domestic abusers excluded from gun ownership under federal law. The current law only applies to spouses.

Lloyd said while the Senate bill doesn’t go as far as liberal gun control groups like Giffords would like, there’s “a lot of good” in it.

“We don’t advocate and work on legislation in a vacuum,” she said. “To get the bill through the Senate…concessions were made on both sides.”

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“I’m surprised at all the policies” that were included in the bill, Heyne said. “Knowing that… where these negotiations started is that universal background checks were not an option – universal background checks that we know 90% [of Americans] approve.”

Several other liberal armed groups said Wednesday they also support the bill.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, arrives to meet with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, for more bipartisan discussions on how to curb gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington 15 June 2022.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, arrives to meet with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, for more bipartisan discussions on how to curb gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington 15 June 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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“This bipartisan legislation meets the most important test: it will save lives,” said Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt. “The text of the bill lives up to the framework released last week, and we are now one big step closer to breaking the 26-year impasse that has blocked congressional action to protect Americans from armed violence.”

“Our grassroots military has been demanding action from the Senate for nearly a decade, and today we are on the verge of making history and saving lives,” added Moms Demand Action founder Shannon. watts.

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Conservative opponents of the bill say the legislation threatens Second Amendment rights. They point to the red flag law provisions and the boyfriend loophole provision as elements that could be abused without proper due process protections.

“In an effort to slowly curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, this legislation takes the wrong approach in trying to tackle violent crime,” said House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., In a whip notice.

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., said the bill “shreds the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans with no effect on deterring criminals.”

Norman D. Briggs