Washington: A group of US lawmakers on Tuesday reached a much-awaited deal on a bipartisan gun safety bill after recent mass shooting incidents in Uvalde, Buffalo and Texas, that struck a nerve in the country.
"Today we released text of our bill to make attacks like the one in Uvalde less likely, while protecting the Second Amendment. I am proud that this mental health and school safety bill places NO NEW RESTRICTIONS on law-abiding gun owners," Senator John Cornyn tweeted. The bill represents a rare moment of bipartisan agreement on a hyperpolarized issue, The Hill reported. The new bill aims to take firearms away from dangerous people and provide billions of dollars in new mental health funding.
The lawmakers have crafted the legislation to prevent mass shootings, such as the mass-casualty events that left 10 people dead at a Buffalo, New York and 21 dead at the Robb Elementary School in Texas.
The bill does not ban assault-style rifles or significantly expand background-check requirements for gun purchases, but it gives states more resources to take guns away from dangerous individuals.
It also provides billions of dollars in funding for mental health treatment.
"I want to make sure we actually do something useful, something that is capable of becoming a law, something that will have the potential to save lives," Senator Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
"I'm happy to report as a result of the hard work of a number of senators in this chamber that we've made some serious progress," he said.
The US has long been plagued with gun violence. It is not a blue city or a red state problem, but "an American problem".
"Americans are good at sending Monday morning thoughts and prayers after seeing those reports of weekend violence. We shake our heads in disbelief and privately congratulate ourselves for living in the suburbs," said an article published by The Washington Post on Monday.
However, the fact is that Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and New Orleans used to be the country's "murder capitals," while new cities keep joining that list: Aurora, Newtown, Parkland, Buffalo, Uvalde, according to the article.
"So now that we know gunfire has no Zip code, are we ready to talk about stopping this?" asked the article titled "D.C. gun violence isn't an 'urban' problem. It's an American problem."
"I will continue to emphasize this: the continued availability of firearms cannot be tolerated, and we must continue our work to get guns off the streets," Brianne K. Nadeau, a D.C. council member, was quoted as saying.