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Senators unveil long-awaited text for bipartisan gun safety legislation

Jun 21, 2022, 7:00 PM
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, speaks on June 30, 2020. A group of senators rel...
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, speaks on June 30, 2020. A group of senators released the text June 21 for a bipartisan gun safety bill, a key moment for the high stakes effort to pass legislation to counter gun violence in a highly polarized political climate. (Photo by Al Drago / various sources / AFP) (Photo by AL DRAGO/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by AL DRAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

  (CNN) — A group of senators released the text Tuesday evening for a bipartisan gun safety bill, a key moment for the high stakes effort to pass legislation to counter gun violence in a highly polarized political climate.

Release of the bill text comes after days of lawmakers haggling over several sticking points, raising questions over whether it would ever be finalized or if the effort would fall apart. Lawmakers will now have to race the clock before the Senate departs for the July Fourth recess in an attempt to get the bill passed out of the chamber.

Gun safety legislation

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday evening he would move quickly to bring up the bill “with an initial procedural vote as soon as tonight.” He added, “following that, we will move to final passage as quickly as possible.”

The Senate is now expected to vote as early as 7:30 pm ET Tuesday on a procedural motion to begin debate on the legislation.

The bill — titled the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — was released by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

Senate’s compromise

The Senate’s compromise legitimation on gun safety includes millions of dollars in investments in mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.

It comes after the release earlier this month of an agreement in principle for a deal on bipartisan gun legislation, which notably had the backing of 10 Republican senators. At least 10 Republican senators will need to join with Democrats to back any gun bill for it to overcome a filibuster and pass in the Senate.

It is not yet clear how widespread GOP support will be for the measure now that legislative text is finalized, but in a key indicator of support from GOP leadership, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday evening he supports the bill.

“I support the bill text that Senator Cornyn and our colleagues have produced,” McConnell said in a statement.

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Senators unveil long-awaited text for bipartisan gun safety legislation