The provisions on which they agreed, however, remain well below the reforms demanded by Joe Biden.
Twenty American senators, Republicans and Democrats, announced on Sunday June 12 an agreement on several provisions to better regulate the use of firearms, rare measures but which remain far below the reforms demanded by Joe Biden after new killings.
These measures, which require a supermajority to be approved in the Senate, include an encouragement for states to remove weapons from those deemed dangerous as well as others aimed at mental health and safety in schools, but do not include the essential to the reforms demanded by the Democrats and Joe Biden.
Launched after the Uvalde massacre, which left 21 dead, including 19 children, in a Texas primary school at the end of May, the parliamentary initiative provides for certain restrictions on access to weapons for people deemed dangerous, the strengthening of the security of schools and funding for mental health programs. The President of the United States, however, immediately hailed “advancements“insufficient but”important», estimating that it would be the text «most significant gun control vote to pass in Congress in decades“.
The presence of ten Republican senators among the signatories of the press release announcing this compromise suggests that such a bill has a real chance of passing the Senate if all 50 elected Democrats are in favor of it. A qualified majority of 60 votes out of 100 senators is necessary for its adoption, which has so far blocked any major progress towards better regulation of firearms, due to the opposition of the conservatives. “With support from elected officials from both parties, there is no excuse for delay, and no reason not to move quickly in the Senate and the House.“, added Joe Biden, who promises to immediately enact the text if it is adopted.
A proposal ofcommon sense»
The Uvalde massacre and the one a few days earlier in Buffalo, in the northeast of the country, had moved America and triggered several parliamentary initiatives. A group of senators, led by Democrat Chris Murphy with Republican John Cornyn, has been quietly working in recent days to find the agreement announced on Sunday. The twenty senators claim to present “a common sense bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe and reduce the danger of violence across the country», «while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans“.
The agreement outlines the federal government’s support for state-by-state laws that would take the weapons they possess out of the hands of those deemed dangerous. It provides for the funding of various support and psychological assistance programs and the strengthening of security in schools, in particular through the training of teachers. These senators also want to strengthen 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.
A compromise too far from what Joe Biden demands
The agreement of the day, which has yet to be translated into law, “shows the value of dialogue and cooperation“, greeted the leader of the Republican senators Mitch McConnell. “Even if we have to go further, this set of measures will save lives“Reacted for her part the Democratic President of the House, Nancy Pelosi. In a deeply divided America, an agreement between elected Republicans and Democrats in Congress is rare, especially on this usually very divisive subject.
The compromise, however, is far from what many Americans are asking for, tens of thousands of whom took to the streets of the country on Saturday, especially in Washington, to demand strong reforms in Congress. “It’s a first step, and it’s actually much more than I expected“, rejoiced on Twitter David Hogg, one of the figures of March for Our Lives, the organization behind the demonstrations on Saturday. “Even if it prevents a Parkland, it’s worth it“, he added, mentioning the shooting in this city of Florida, which had killed 17 people in 2018 and of which he is a survivor.
Joe Biden had publicly shown his support for the protesters by listing the measures he wants to see adopted but absent from Sunday’s agreement: ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, background checks for all buyers weapons – and not only those under 21 – obligation for individuals to keep their weapons locked up. The House of Representatives had voted on Wednesday a different text which includes the prohibition of the sale of semi-automatic rifles to those under 21 and that of large capacity magazines, but it has almost no chance of passing in the Senate.