Sen. Mitt Romney talks gun safety bill and Family Security Act 2.0

Jun 15, 2022, 7:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — In Washington, D.C., 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, are negotiating a framework on gun safety bill.

Romney joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to give an update on the framework, as well as a bill he proposed today that would make investments in families called The Family Security Act 2.0.

Gun safety bill

On the gun bill, Romney said right now the bipartisan group of senators is working on the framework. And in the end, the language needs to match the framework.

“We’ve got a long way to go. But the framework itself is something which a number of people, including as you know, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, are saying, okay, that works because it’s really not gun legislation. It is, if you will, saying ‘Okay, we’re going to have more counselors and mental health professionals in schools.”

He added the framework on a gun safety bill calls for reviewing criminal and mental health records for gun buyers under 21. 

But “there is no interest in taking away guns or making it harder for people to own guns,” Romney said. “That’s not going to happen, but trying to find ways to make our schools safer and keep disturbed people from having weapons is on our mind.”

Raising age limit for assault rifles is not included

The framework of the bill does not raise the age for buying AR-15-style rifles from 18 to 21.

Under federal law, the minimum age to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer is 21. But the age limit drops to 18 if the gun is being purchased from a private, unlicensed seller, which could be a neighbor, someone online or at gun show, according to The Hill.

“I thought it was an interesting compromise proposal in terms of still leaving it at 18. But let’s have a longer waiting period and some enhanced background check for those that are under age 21. Tell us about kind of the conversation around that,” Boyd said.

“. . . There are a number of people who feel that people should not be able to purchase an assault weapon if they’re under 21. . . . On the other hand, people say, well, but these are folks that oftentimes serve in our military, we let them have weapons in the military,” Romney said. ” . . .But in the military, they’re supervised and they’re on the battlefield. And of course, they can’t take that weapon home with them.”

When will gun legislation come up for a Senate vote?

“Finally on the on the gun issue, as you look at this march forward, I know that you’ve had a number of senators . . . . wanted it by the end of the week.  Sen. John Cornyn [of Texas] saying that’s a real heavy lift. Is there anything you’re really watching for in the legislative language that are going to be some of those sticking points are some things that are going to require a different kind of conversation?”

Who are the senators shaping the gun safety proposal?

The bipartisan group includes Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Democratic senators include Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chris Coons of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. It also includes Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, according to CNN.

Family Security Act 2.0

Boyd pivots from gun safety to something that was released on Wednesday – the Family Security Act. 

“Tell us about that?” Boyd asks

“We have a lot of programs at the federal government level that provide help to families with children,” Romney said. “There’s something known as the child tax credit, which is difficult to calculate, it’s a tax credit, a so called refundable tax credit that you can get at the end of the tax year, on a per child basis. And then there’s also something called the earned income tax credit, and that has a family component to it.”

Making tax credit easier

Romney added that all of this need to be simplified.

“Take those programs and reform them basically start over again, with a clean piece of paper,” Romney said.  And, and provide a monthly benefit to pay on a per child basis to families of $350 a month, per child of five years of age or younger, to it and for dealers a month for children over five years old.”

Paying for it

So how will this be paid for?

“It’s all paid for by the money that came from collapsing some of the other programs and simplifying this,” Romney said. “And, that way we get help to families that are thinking about having a child, but wonder whether they can afford it or not. We also by the way, provide this funding it begins when the mom is pregnant when she’s four months pregnant. So, once she’s four months pregnant, she begins to get monthly payments as well, that helps with health care bills, it helps with well, you know, some of the purchases you make getting ready for a child.”

 “What are some of the other things that we should be watching for as long as this moves forward?” Boyd asks.

“You need to have worked to earn at least $10,000 in the prior year, but that’s a combined to cover husband and wife,” Romney said. “And so you actually get a benefit by getting married. Because once you’re married, you can include the income of both people. So we’re going from having a marriage penalty or a marriage benefit, to encourage people to get married. And if they want to have a child to be able to make it easier financially to have a child.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Sen. Mitt Romney talks gun safety bill and Family Security Act 2.0