U.S. senators reach narrow deal on gun safety amid public disappointment about inaction
A group of bipartisan U.S. senators on Sunday announced a narrow gun safety deal amid public disappointment about political inaction.
The plan, endorsed by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans, includes measures to crack down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns, strengthen criminal background check requirements for gun buyers younger than 21, and fund mental health services.
Both sides touted it as a victory but the deal fell short of the White House's proposals to ban assault weapons and raise the minimum age of purchasing certain firearms from 18 to 21, among other things.
"This deal is heavily influenced by the canard that gun violence in the U.S. is largely a mental health problem and not an access to guns problem," Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and CNN medical analyst, tweeted.
"It will create the illusion that Congress has finally done something about guns in the U.S.," Reiner also wrote.
The senators' announcement came a day after Americans gathered across the United States to decry rising gun violence and urge politicians to take action in the wake of several mass shootings over the past few weeks.
Last month, a gunman broke into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers in a rampage that has sent shockwaves across the United States and renewed contentious gun debate.
According to the latest data from Gun Violence Archive, the United States has suffered 265 mass shootings over the past five months, with more than 19,500 lives lost to gun violence.