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US senators strike limited deal on gun violence following mass shootings

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at the opening of the Giffords Gun Violence Memorial in front of the Washington Monument on June 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

A bipartisan group of US senators has announced a framework agreement on new gun legislation, in a move that falls far short of President Joe Biden's calls for a real change in gun violence. 

On Sunday, a group of 20 Democratic and Republican lawmakers struck a gun safety framework that could put Congress on a path to eventually pass gun reforms to thwart more mass shootings in the country.

The proposals include tougher background checks for gun buyers under 21, increasing resources for states to keep weapons out of the hands of people deemed a risk, and cracking down on illegal gun purchases.

"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," said the group in a statement.

President Biden praised the announcement as "important steps" and urged lawmakers to pass the measures quickly as the legislation has "bipartisan support."

Biden, however, said that the proposals do not go as far as he wanted.

Following several recent mass killings, the president pushed for far more substantive reforms, including a ban on assault rifles, which were used in recent mass killings at a Texas elementary school and a New York State supermarket.

In mid-May, a racist attack killed 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. The mass shooting was followed by the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, which killed 19 students and two teachers.

In the wake of the school massacre, polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support major gun reforms.

There have been more than 240 mass shootings in the United States this year, more than 30 of which have taken place since the May 24 Uvalde tragedy, according to the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive.

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