RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Sunday, a bipartisan group of senators including Thom Tillis (NC-R) and Richard Burr (NC-R) announced an agreement on gun reform legislation.
The agreement — which includes nine Democrats, one independent, and 10 Republicans — includes support for state crisis intervention orders, funding for school safety resources, a review process for those under 21 purchasing a gun and other reform measures.
“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,” the bipartisan announcement stated. “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.”
The proposal also includes protection for victims of domestic violence, cracks down on criminals who illegally avoid licensing requirements, straw purchasing penalties and provides a path for states to create red flag laws.
Madhavi Krevat is the North Carolina Campaigns Lead for Moms Demand Action. She said something is finally being done in Congress after years of calls for change.
“I think it’s a big step forward, it’s a big step forward to, for all of us to be working together to end gun violence in this country, and it’s a big step forward for Congress to have this bipartisan deal, so we’re very grateful that this is happening,” Krevat said.
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. currently have red flag laws, North Carolina does not. The law allows a family member and law enforcement to request a judge take a gun away from someone who’s a threat to themselves and others.
“We can actually have this person evaluated, and have their weapons taken away temporarily just until they’re evaluated and helped, and I believe that’s going to stop a lot of these mass shootings,” Krevat said.
The proposal comes after the deadly Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, a shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in Buffalo that killed 10 people, and a shooting at a Tulsa medical building that killed four people.
“I want to thank Senator Chris Murphy and the members of his bipartisan group — especially Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Tillis — for their tireless work to produce this proposal,” said President Joe Biden. “It reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”
Some measures left out of the proposal the Krevat’s and other gun reform advocates have pushed for are raising the age to buy an assault rifle from 18 to 21 and expanding background checks.
The bill is expected to move through the Senate and House for a vote.