WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is among 10 Republican senators joining 9 Democratic senators and 1 Independent in announcing a bipartisan agreement to address gun violence, school safety, and mental health in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.
Portman and the other 19 senators issued a statement Sunday afternoon. It reads:
“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. 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 senators in the agreement include:
Republican: Rob Portman (Ohio), John Cornyn (Texas), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Mitt Romney (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
Democrat: Chris Murphy (Connecticut), Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Cory Booker (New Jersey), Chris Coons (Delaware), Martin Heinrich (New Mexico), Mark Kelly (Arizona), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan)
Independent: Angus King (Maine)
Included in the announcement from Sen. Portman is the full, detailed proposal to address gun violence, school safety, and mental health. The proposal includes:
Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders
- Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.
Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services
- National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services
- Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.
Funding for School Safety Resources
- Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.
Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer
- Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
- Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.
Under 21 Enhanced Review Process
- For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.
Penalties for Straw Purchasing
- Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.
The deal was announced by some of the lawmakers who have been negotiating and in talks about what gun-related measures could pass in the chamber.
Shortly after the deal was announced, President Biden said in a statement that he would sign whatever proposals came to his desk as soon as possible.
“Each day that passes, more children are killed in this country: the sooner it comes to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can use these measures to save lives,” Biden said.
The Hill contributed to this report