There appears to be enough support from Senate Republicans to approve what would be the most significant federal gun safety legislation in almost thirty years.
Ten Republicans — but neither of Oklahoma’s Senators — signed onto an agreement released Sunday on the framework for a legislative package that reportedly includes federal grants to encourage states to implement red-flag laws, expanded criminal background checks for gun buyers younger than 21, and billions of dollars for mental health care, school security enhancements, and behavioral intervention programs.
“This is a good first step,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Sunday. “I will put the bill on the floor ASAP – as soon as possible -- so that Congress can quickly act to do something meaningful against gun violence.”
There are still many details to be worked out and the bill is not fully written, so it remains to be seen if the finished product will have the 60 votes needed to overcome a likely filibuster. But the fact that it currently has ten Republicans on board, according to Democrats, is a big deal.
“Never before, in the last 30 years, have so many Republicans been at the table,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), “not just the 10 who have signed on to this agreement, but others who've expressed interest.”
So far, neither Oklahoma senator has commented on the substance of the agreement.
“What was released on Sunday is a framework—Senator Lankford will withhold judgement until a final bill is introduced since details matter,” said Lankford spokesperson Aly Beley on Monday. “However, he has been very clear that law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights should not be jeopardized as we work to protect children in schools and confront mental health challenges.”
Likewise, it’s not yet known how the state’s House members would vote on this, if the bill made it that far. They all opposed the more aggressive Protecting Our Kids Act last week.