A group of 20 U.S. senators across party line on Sunday said that they have reached agreement on tightening gun control laws in the United States, bolstering school security and funding more mental health care in the immediate aftermath of three mass shooting attacks that shocked many Americans.

“We have a deal… that will save lives,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said of the pact reached by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. If approved by Congress, it would be the first legislative agreement in 30 years to try to curb rampant gun violence in the U.S.

“I think you’ll be surprised at the scope of our framework,” Murphy said, although the deal does not include, as called for by President Joe Biden, a ban on the sale of rapid-fire assault weapons that have often been the weapon of choice deployed by mass shooters in the U.S.


Murphy worked with Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona as well as Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina as lead negotiators in crafting the legislation.

Biden said in a statement that the framework “does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”

Given the bipartisan support, “there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the accord “a good first step to ending the persistent inaction to the gun violence epidemic.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has supported the talks, released a statement Sunday, saying he is hoping for a deal that makes “significant headway on key issues like mental health and school safety, respects the Second Amendment, earns broad support in the Senate, and makes a difference for our country.”

Schumer said he would bring the measure to a vote as soon as possible.

Additional input VOA