The text remains far below the measures demanded by President Joe Biden, but is still a first for decades.
US senators from both sides unveiled a bill on Tuesday, June 21, aimed at restricting gun violence after a series of deadly shootings, a text that falls far short of the measures demanded by President Joe Biden but still constitutes a first for decades.
In a deeply divided America, an agreement in Congress between elected Democrats and Republicans is indeed rare, especially on this very divisive subject. It is “the most significant gun violence legislation in almost 30 years”, tweeted Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. This 80-page text “will save thousands of lives”he added.
The parliamentary initiative was launched after the Uvalde massacre, which killed 21 people including 19 children in a Texas elementary school at the end of May, and that of Buffalo in New York State, during which 10 black people were killed. were killed in a supermarket in mid-May.
Although not all we want, this legislation is urgently needed. »
Chuck Schumer, leader of the Senate Democrats
Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, also described the text as “advanced”. “While not all we wanted, this legislation is urgently needed”, he said in a statement. Republican John Cornyn, who worked with Chris Murphy on the project, said the text was intended to ensure that attacks like Uvalde’s are “less likely to happen, while protecting the Second Amendment” of the Constitution, which permits the possession of firearms. “I’m proud that this proposed Mental Health and School Safety Act imposes NO NEW RESTRICTIONS on law-abiding gun owners”he added on Twitter.
The proposed measures fall far short of what President Biden wanted, such as banning assault rifles. The text notably highlights support for laws, state by state, which would allow the weapons they possess to be removed from the hands of people deemed dangerous, according to Chris Murphy. He also intends to introduce stronger criminal and psychological background checks for gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21, as well as better control of the illegal sale of guns, and funding for mental health programs. .
Joe Biden had publicly shown his support for activists against gun violence by listing the measures he wants to see adopted but which are absent from the agreement between the senators: bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines , background checks for all gun buyers – not just those under 21 -, obligation for individuals to keep their guns locked up.