Senators from both factions unveiled a draft law Tuesday aimed at curbing gun use.following a series of massacres that shocked the US, a text that can not stand any comparison with the measures demanded by US President Joe Biden, but, if approved, will be the first to tackle this scourge in almost three decades .
A majority of senators voted in favor of him in the first, procedural vote last night.
In deeply politically divided America, reaching an agreement in Congress between Democrats and Republicans is rare, especially on issues such as arms.
If passed, it would be “the most important in nearly 30 years,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy. The 80-page text “will save millions of lives,” he assured.
The parliamentary initiative follows the massacres in Ovalde, Texas, where a teenager slaughtered 21 people in a primary school – 19 children and two teachers – and in Buffalo, New York, when a young racist killed 10 blacks in a supermarket. The two episodes were recorded in May, in roughly a week.
Chuck Sumer, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, spoke of “progress.”
“Although it is not at all what we would like, this bill is necessary, urgently,” he explained in a statement.
His Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, sees a “common sense package,” he said in a statement pledging to vote.
For Republican John Cornyn, who worked with Chris Murphy on his draft, the text will guarantee that attacks like the one in Uvalde are less likely to be carried out, while ensuring that “the 2nd amendment” to the Constitution remains intact. which guarantees Americans the right to bear arms.
He said on Twitter he was “proud” that the bill, which focuses on “mental health” and “school safety”, did not provide for “any new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners”, typing the words “no new restrictions” in capital letters.
The provisions of the bill are far removed from the measures requested by President Biden, such as a ban on the sale of military-type assault rifles.
The bill focuses above all on enforcing existing state-by-state legislation that allows guns to be removed from people deemed dangerous to themselves or society, according to Murphy. It also provides for stricter verification of the criminal record and psychological history of would-be arms buyers aged 18 to 21, stricter crackdowns on illegal arms sales, and mental health programs.
Mr Biden has publicly spoken out in support of activist proposals to combat gun violence, outlining measures he would like to see promoted: banning the sale of assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, verifying all criminal records and criminal records. of would-be arms buyers – and not just those under the age of 21 – the introduction of the obligation of gun owners to keep them locked and safe …
Senator Murphy believes the bill will be passed “within a week.”
The most powerful arms lobby, the NRA, has made it clear on Twitter that it opposes the bill. The NRA’s position could drastically reduce the number of Republicans who will support the text.