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Key Senate negotiators on Tuesday settled disagreements about a federal firearms bill that would toughen gun laws and allocate billions of dollars toward mass shooting prevention, making it likely the legislation will become law by the end of the month, The Washington Post reported.
The breakthrough comes less than a week after the lead Republican negotiator, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, abruptly walked out of a meeting on the legislation.
“I don’t know what they have in mind, but I’m through talking,” he after leaving negotiations with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the latter of whom is leading the gun reform conversation for his party in the Senate.
The text of the bill, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, will be released Tuesday afternoon, the WaPo stated. The Senate is expected to hold an initial procedural vote hours later.
The bill reportedly does not include measures to ban assault weapons or restrict magazine capacity, but it does work to close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”
The law would prohibit a misdemeanor domestic violence offender with a “current or recent former dating relationship with the victim” from purchasing or owning a firearm.
The definition of a “dating relationship” will be determined by the court, and offenders will automatically regain their ability to buy and own guns after five years if they do not commit any disqualifying offenses.
The bill also provides an additional $750 million in funding for state “crisis intervention programs,” which include red-flag laws, drug courts, and veterans’ courts.
While people under the age of 21 will still be allowed to purchase rifles and shotguns, senators created a three-business-day window for an “enhanced search” that will allow authorities to comb confidential databases before allowing someone under 21 to buy a gun.
The “enhanced search” option will expire after 10 years.