An outline for a bipartisan deal on guns in the Senate could be announced as soon as Sunday, and negotiators are working to get 10 Republicans to back the measure to assure passage in the chamber, according to a report.
Senate negotiators representing Democrats and Republicans are hashing out the final details, CNN reported on Sunday, noting that sources cautioned that the agreement has been reached in principle and that so far no legislative text has been written.
Talks are ongoing to enlist 10 GOP senators to support the measure to indicate that the agreement would be able to overcome the 60-vote threshold in the 50-50 divided chamber required to pass legislation.
A bipartisan deal would be seen as a breakthrough in the Senate because of longstanding divisions among lawmakers over gun reform – even in the aftermath of mass shootings last month in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 31 people.
The report, citing sources, said the outline encourages states to enact red-flag laws, to expand mental health services in all 50 states, as well as allow searches of juvenile records during background checks for those under 21, and increase funds for school security.
But absent from the agreement are a number of measures sought by President Biden and gun control advocates — including an assault weapons ban and raising the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21 from 18, the report said.
A quartet of senators — Democrats Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republicans John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — have been huddling over the weekend to hammer out the deal.
The House, mostly on a party-line vote of 233-204, passed a gun control bill last week but it’s expected to die in the Senate.
The House bill raises the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21 and prohibits the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.
The gunmen who killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo and 21 — including 19 children and two teachers — at an elementary school in Texas both used AR-15-style military assault rifles.
Both were also 18 when they purchased the weapons.