Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to support the bipartisan gun control framework announced by 20 senators, he said Tuesday.
“I’m comfortable with the framework, and if the legislation ends up reflecting what the framework indicates, I’ll be supportive,” McConnell said at a press conference held by Senate Republican leadership. The package was negotiated by two of his closest allies, Missouri Sen. and Republican Policy Committee chairman Roy Blunt, and Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
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The 20 senators announced Sunday that they had agreed on nine provisions to be included in the package, although they did not release legislative text. The package is centered on funding for state crisis intervention orders, commonly known as red-flag laws, which allow authorities to obtain court orders to seize guns of individuals “determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others.” Other provisions include funding for mental health services and school safety officers.
“The mental health component would be a big part of that,” Blunt added. “I think everybody in our conference, and I believe every member of the Senate, at some point has said that these problems at some fundamental level are the failure of the mental health delivery system.” (RELATED: Here Are The 10 Republicans Who Support The New Gun Control Proposal)
“We also talked about school safety, we talked about the importance of having access to juvenile records for young gun buyers like the person at Uvalde, who on his eighteenth birthday, went to have a background check to buy a gun. And since you have no earlier records than 18 available, it’s like that person was born that day. And of course he passed the background check because he has no background legally and officially no matter what his juco [juvenile corrections] record might have suggested.”
McConnell’s comment signal the likely success of the legislation in the Senate, since he is one of several Republicans not involved in the negotiations to announce tentative support. Support in the House of Representatives remains unclear. The lower chamber passed a package mostly along party lines, and left-wing members have claimed that the Senate’s proposal could discourage individuals from seeking mental healthcare.