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Bipartisan group of senators announce deal on guns

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Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 22:31:57-04

MICHIGAN (WXMI) — Thoughts and prayers may soon turn into action.

Twenty senators revealed a bipartisan framework for gun control on Sunday following a series of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.

The announcement came after communities across the country, including Grand Haven, called for stricter gun laws and shared their frustrations and fears at protests over the weekend.

“Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities,” said the lawmakers.

The outline is just a proposal at this point and has not been written, so things may change, but the deal includes 10 Republicans, which signals enough support to overcome the Senate filibuster.

There is no assault weapons ban nor does it raise the age to purchase a firearm.

According to a release, the framework includes the following reforms:

  • Supports state crisis intervention orders 
    • Offers money to states that enact ‘red flag’ laws, which allow law enforcement or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove firearms from individuals if they pose a danger to themselves or others 
  • Invests in children and family mental health services
    • Major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs and expand community behavioral health centers 
  • Closes the “boyfriend loophole” 
    • Subjects convicted abusive dating partners to background checks 
  • Funds school-based mental health and supportive services
    • Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services
  • Funds school safety resources
    • Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students
  • Clarifies the definition of a “federally licensed firearms dealer”
    • People who informally sell guns for profit would need to obtain a firearms dealers’ license, which requires them to conduct background checks 
  • Telehealth Investments
    • Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth
  • Under 21 Enhanced Review Process
    • Gun buyers under age 21 must undergo an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement 
  • Penalties for Straw Purchasing
    • Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns

Sen. Debbie Stabenow co-authored the bill related to community mental health centers.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who received care at a center like it spent 60.3% less time in jails, had 63.2% fewer emergency department visits, and saw a 40.7% decrease in homelessness.

“Our mental health care and addiction initiative is a proven success story,” said Stabenow in a statement. “This bipartisan proposal builds on our work and will make sure health care above the neck is funded the same way as health care below the neck. It’s time to get this across the finish line and expand these highly successful clinics to people in every corner of our country.”

In a statement, Sen. Gary Peters, who was not apart of the negotiations, applauded the framework.

“This bipartisan proposal would take needed steps to address gun violence, improve school safety and increase mental health resources,” said Peters. “As I have said, failure is not an option and we must make progress by passing commonsense legislation. This framework is an important step, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this as soon as possible.”

Legislators hope to pass a bill before the July 4 recess.