U. S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released the following statement on the announcement of a bipartisan agreement in the aftermath of Uvalde, Texas.
“I joined these negotiations to ensure any agreement addressed illegal gun violence while upholding due process and protecting law-abiding Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This agreement upholds that commitment.”
Cassidy joined U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Cory Booker (D- NJ), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in the agreement and in issuing the following joint statement:
“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. Families are scared, and it is our duty to come together and get something done that will help restore their sense of safety and security in their communities. Our 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. Most importantly, our plan saves lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense proposal into law.”
According to the statement and bipartisan agreement that President Biden said he will sign, the proposal includes:
Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders
Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.
Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services
National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
Convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services
Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including early identification and intervention programs and school-based mental health and wrap-around services.
Funding for School Safety Resources
Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.
Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer
Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.
Under 21 Enhanced Review Process
Buyers under 21 years of age, require an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.
Penalties for Straw Purchasing
Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.
President Joe Biden provided the following statement confirming that he would agree to sign the package and thanked Senator Chris Murphy and the members of his bipartisan group.
“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” Biden said Sunday.