Group of senators announce breakthrough on gun control legislation

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WASHINGTON – A group of senators said on Sunday that it had an agreement in principle for gun control legislation, though the lawmakers did not provide specific or detailed legislation.

Ten of the signers were members of the Republican Party – the number needed to break through a GOP filibuster on the legislation.

The senators who signed the statement included the four who led the negotiations: Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. The others are: Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Cory Booker, D- N.J.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.; Angus King, I-Maine; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Mitt Romney, R-Utah;  Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

The group said its plan “increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”

The proposal is more limited than changes recently pushed by President Joe Biden, which included a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as adding universal background checks and raising the minimum age to buy guns to 21 years old.