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 anti-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.
Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate Democrats, also called the text “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 bill, said the text was intended to make attacks like Uvalde’s “less likely to happen, while protecting the Second Amendment” from the Constitution, which allows the possession of firearms.
“I’m proud that this proposed mental health and school safety bill places NO NEW RESTRICTIONS on law-abiding gun owners,” he tweeted.
– “Too much latitude” –
But the NRA, the weapons lobby, immediately expressed its opposition to the text, judging on the contrary that it could be used to “restrict the purchase of legal weapons”.
The bill “leaves too much leeway to state officials and also contains undefined and overbroad provisions, inviting interference in our constitutional freedoms,” she said in a statement.
The proposed measures fall far short of what President Biden wanted, such as banning assault rifles.
The text highlights in particular the support for laws, State by State, which would allow the weapons they possess to be removed from the hands of people deemed to be dangerous.
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: ban 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.
Although the agreement is limited, the organization Moms Demand Action, which campaigns for a stricter framework for arms sales, considered that it was “a giant step for our movement”, promising to to fight “until it is adopted”.