Senators unveil more details of gun reform agreement

By:  Ryan Boetel

Support for states to enforce crisis intervention orders, an enhanced review process for gun buyers under 21 and funding for school safety measures are some of the provisions included in a compromise on gun-control measures reached between Democratic and Republican senators.

The proposals were ironed out in negotiations that included Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

“The hardest part of every negotiation is letting go of the perfect for the possible,” Heinrich said Monday in a virtual press conference with New Mexico media. “My focus through this entire process has been saving lives.”

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., outlined the proposals in a news release. The negotiated reforms, which haven’t been introduced in a bill, include providing state and tribal governments resources to enforce laws aimed at prohibiting certain people from owning firearms if a court determines the person is a danger to themselves or others. The negotiations were launched in response to several recent horrific mass shootings, including in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

Measures in the negotiated framework include investing in children and family mental health services and reviewing more people with domestic violence cases or people who have been the subject of a domestic violence restraining order during background checks. The measures also include reviewing juvenile and mental health records before someone under the age of 21 can buy certain types of firearms.

Other provisions include expanding mental health services in schools and increasing security at primary and secondary schools, according to Murphy’s website.

There were 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans involved in the negotiations.

“Our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans,” Murphy said. “We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”

Heinrich, a longtime gun owner who hunts, said he hopes the reforms will help stop future mass shootings, and also address other types of gun violence, like suicides.

“The level of gun violence in our country is appalling and unacceptable,” he said.