Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics
newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
Thank you. Please check your inbox to confirm.
Leave your feedback
Warning: This hearing feed contains footage depicting gun violence.
The Senate Judiciary committee held a hearing Wednesday on children and gun violence which included witnesses from major cities including Chicago and Phoenix.
Watch hearing in the player above.
The hearing comes a week after House gun violence hearings, which included family members of victims from recent mass shootings at a Buffalo supermarket and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“We must work together to pass legislation that will truly change this situation, while protecting constitutional rights,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley during the hearing. “There is so much more we can do to protect America’s children.”
On Monday, the Senate appeared to near a compromise on bipartisan gun legislation framework, with Senate Democrats in favor and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggesting he would support it.
The compromise would make the juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks. The suspects who killed 10 Black people in Buffalo and 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde were both 18, and many perpetrators of recent years’ mass shootings have been young.
The agreement would offer money to states to enact and put in place “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, plus funds to bolster school safety and mental health programs.
Some people who informally sell guns for profit would be required to obtain federal dealers’ licenses, which means they would have to conduct background checks of buyers.
WATCH: What research says about identifying people who might commit mass shootings
Convicted domestic abusers who do not live with a former partner, such as estranged ex-boyfriends, would be barred from buying firearms, and it would be a crime for a person to legally purchase a weapon for someone who would not qualify for ownership.
The agreement was quickly endorsed by groups that support gun restrictions including Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety and March for Our Lives, which organized rallies held around the country on Saturday.
The National Rifle Association said in a statement that it opposes gun control and infringing on people’s “fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones,” but supports strengthening school security, mental health and law enforcement.
The group has long exerted its sway with millions of firearms-owning voters to derail gun control drives in Congress.
The agreement represents a lowest common denominator compromise on gun violence, not a complete sea change in Congress. Lawmakers have demonstrated a newfound desire to move ahead after saying their constituents have shown a heightened desire for congressional action since Buffalo and Uvalde, but Republicans still oppose more sweeping steps.
Democrats were pushing for banning assault-style firearms such as the AR-15 style rifles used in Buffalo and Uvalde, or raising the legal age for buying them.
AR-15s are popular and powerful semi-automatic weapons that can fire high-capacity magazines and have been used in many of the nation’s highest-profile slaughters in recent years. One of them, the killing of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, occurred six years ago Sunday.
Democrats have also wanted to ban high capacity magazines and to expand required background checks to far more gun purchases.
None of those proposals have a chance in Congress.
Support Provided By: