3 senators from Pa., NJ, and Del. part of bipartisan gun legislation proposal

This proposal breaks a 30-year log jam regarding gun legislation.

Monday, June 13, 2022
3 local senators part of bipartisan gun legislation proposal
A group of 20 senators from both sides of the aisle announced a gun reform proposal that they are calling "bipartisan" and "common sense."

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In the wake of deadly mass shootings across the country, a group of 20 senators from both sides of the aisle, including from the tri-state area, announced a gun reform proposal that they are calling "bipartisan" and "common sense."

This proposal is significant because it breaks a 30-year log jam regarding gun legislation.

"Over the last decade there's been attempt after attempt to pass broader, stronger provisions," said Democrat Delaware Senator Chris Coons.

The proposal has 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans backing it, which is crucial because it would attain the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

SEE ALSO: Bipartisan group of senators announce agreement on guns reforms Sunday

Three local lawmakers part of the agreement include Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Democrat Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Democrat Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.

"I think the approach that Senator (Chris) Murphy and Senator (Kyrsten) Sinema took as they were initially negotiating with (Senator Thom) Tillis and (Senator John) Cornyn was, 'Let's explore what's possible. What can get more than 10 Republican votes?' Because frankly, to come up short in this moment, to deliver literally nothing again was just too hard a prospect to contemplate," said Coons.

While the proposal does not have any legislative text yet, it proposes to have major funding to help states pass and implement red flag laws, which allow law enforcement to take away weapons from people who are a danger to themselves or others.

The proposal wants to close the "boyfriend loophole" so that anyone convicted of abuse against their partner can't buy a gun.

The gun proposal wants to implement the first federal law against gun trafficking and straw purchases. It also takes aim at gun buyers under 21, requiring an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records.

"There's been a core group negotiating here for some time since the horrific shootings in Uvalde and in Buffalo. I think every American was touched by the cruelty, the senselessness of the violence," Coons said.

President Joe Biden thanked the group for the proposal and said "it does not do everything that I think is needed but it reflects important steps in the right direction."

The senators included in the proposal are: Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Democratic senators included Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chris Coons of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. It also includes Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats.