Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly announce bipartisan agreement
PHOENIX — Arizona’s Democratic U.S. senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly announced a bipartisan proposal agreement on Sunday along with 18 other senators on gun safety legislation.
The agreement covers the topics of support for state crisis intervention orders, investment in children and family mental health services, protections for victims of domestic violence, funding for school-based mental health and supportive services among others listed in a press release.
“I want to thank Senator Chris Murphy and the members of his bipartisan group—especially Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Tillis—for their tireless work to produce this proposal,” President Joe Biden said in a release on Sunday.
“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”
The agreement aims to protect children, families and students while protecting the constitutional rights of gun owners in America. Leaders hope to push any agreement into law quickly — they hope this month — before the political momentum fades that has been stirred by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Sinema was one of four U.S. senators who met virtually Tuesday regarding potential legislative action following the recent school shooting in Texas.
The compromise would make the juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks. The suspects who killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo and 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde were both 18, and many of the attackers who have committed mass shootings in recent years have been young.
An important aspect of the deal is that 10 Republican senators are in on the agreement, as 10 GOP votes are needed to pass the 60-vote threshold for approval.
According to the Gun Violence Archive 2022, 158 children aged 0-11 have died with 333 injured, while 578 teens ages 12-17 have died and 1,522 have been injured in 161 days in 2022 so far.
Kelly, Sinema and the 18 other senators released a statement acknowledging the progress made with Sunday’s agreement.
“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. 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,” the senators said in the press release.
“Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons. Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.