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Lawmakers return to D.C. this week with gun reform front and center

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Posted at 5:14 AM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 07:59:32-04

Tulsa, Buffalo and Uvalde — just three of the communities in the U.S. that have experienced a mass shooting in recent weeks.

The Washington Post reports not a single week this year has passed without at least four mass shootings. A mass shooting is typically defined as when four or more people lose their life.

Gun violence and the prospect of reform will take center stage this week as lawmakers return to Washington from their Memorial Day recess.

Latest on negotiations

During President Joe Biden's primetime address last week came more calls for gun reform.

"We should limit the rounds a weapon can hold," Biden said Thursday.

While Republicans have pushed for different measures to curb the violence.

"Mental illness and school safety are what we need to target," Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last week.

This week, lawmakers on Capitol Hill could possibly announce a bipartisan measure that just might pass the split Senate and Democratically-controlled House and become law. Both Democrats and Republicans are optimistic that a compromise can be reached.

One area of compromise is federal funding for states to create or improve red flag laws. Nineteen states already have the law on the books, which allows law enforcement to seize guns from those who are deemed a threat.

Another area is school safety upgrades, which could include everything from improved doors to increased in-person security.

Finally, improved mental health is expected to be included as well, which would likely focus on better funding, especially for young people.

For now, the emerging compromise does not raise the minimum age to buy semi-automatic guns, restrict bump stocks or high-capacity magazines — which both allow for rounds to be fired more rapidly. Laws around AR-15-style guns are not expected to change either. That gun has been used in some mass shootings in recent years, including the shootings in Tulsa, Uvalde and Buffalo.

One area to watch this week as the Senate returns to D.C., is whether any change to background checks will be included. A narrow change could be included in the compromise.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is setting up her own votes this week on bills that would restrict who can buy a gun and how a gun can operate.

However, those House bills currently lack enough Republican support in the Senate. Ten Republicans will need to join 50 Democrats for any legislation to pass the Senate.

Biden has been very clear in recent days he does not have much ability to enact anything more on his own via executive order and has encouraged Congress to act.