What To Know Today
Bipartisan group announces framework agreement on gun reform. Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican John Cornyn led a group of 20 senators (10 Democrats and 10 Republicans) that announced the deal on Sunday. It includes model red flag legislation and incentives for states to adopt such laws, funding for mental health services, additional resources for school safety measures, new penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases, and enhanced background checks for people under 21 to allow “an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records.” Other key parts to the agreement:
- Closing the so-called boyfriend loophole: Under federal law, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse can still pass a background check or keep their guns if their victim is not a current or former spouse, child, co-parent, or cohabiting partner. Closing the boyfriend loophole is particularly notable because it was ultimately dropped from the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act over GOP objections, while a more modest tweak to the background check system was enacted in that bill.
- An update on which gun sellers need to get a Federal Firearms License. Currently, anyone “engaged in the business of dealing in firearms” must obtain a FFL, but many sellers have avoided getting one and routinely sell at places like gun shows without running background checks.
The details will be critical, as the framework agreement is light on specifics and senators must start drafting legislative text that can retain the support of at least 60 senators. “While more is needed, this package will take steps to save lives,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, suggesting the lower chamber would pass anything that clears the Senate even though the framework falls far short of what the House passed last week. Meanwhile, gun reform groups have lined up to support the agreement as gun rights organizations largely treated it with skepticism or opposition. Trace reporter Chip Brownlee has more about the deal in a can’t-miss Twitter thread.
March for Our Lives demonstrators press for gun restrictions. A day before the Senate agreement, thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., and several other cities on Saturday to call for action. March for Our Lives, the gun reform advocacy group that formed after Parkland, was one of several to come out in support of the Senate agreement yesterday. Saturday’s D.C. demonstration was marred by a huge panic when someone’s loud scream during a moment of silence sent crowd members fleeing.
ICYMI: We looked at why the widespread popularity of many gun reforms hasn’t been reflected by our laws. Among the explanations: The squishiness of gun polls and how they don’t always translate at the ballot box, the realities of the U.S. Senate, gerrymandering, and the popularity of loosening gun laws. You can read more here.
A Manhattan judge has dismissed the NRA’s claims against New York State Attorney General Letitia James. That allows her nearly two-year-old lawsuit against the gun group to continue. The NRA had argued that James’s suit was borne from personal hostility and was retaliation for constitutionally protected activity. In a June 10 ruling, New York State Judge Joel M. Cohen wrote that, “the NRA’s factual allegations do not support any viable legal claims that the Attorney General’s investigation was unconstitutionally retaliatory or selective … The narrative that the Attorney General’s investigation into these undeniably serious matters was nothing more than a politically motivated — and unconstitutional — witch hunt is simply not supported by the record.” Discovery in the case is expected to continue through this fall. — Will Van Sant, staff writer
At least seven mass shootings batter cities nationwide over the weekend. From Friday night through Sunday, the incidents left at least five people dead and another 27 injured, according to Gun Violence Archive. Shootings leaving at least four or more people injured occurred in Antioch, Tennessee; Chicago; Decatur, Georgia; Detroit; Gary, Indiana; Louisville; and New Orleans. In the incident with the most casualties, six people were shot — two fatally — during a pool party on Saturday night in Antioch, which is just outside of Nashville.
0 — the number of GOP Senators involved in striking the bipartisan agreement on guns who are up for election this year. Four of them — Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Rob Portman, and Pat Toomey — are retiring.