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What you need to know about the Senate gun safety deal

I'd like to share with you a few thoughts about the tentative agreement on gun safety that has been negotiated by 10 of my Democratic colleagues and 10 of my Republican colleagues.

This agreement does not include everything that you and I would like. But it's a strong and meaningful step that will save lives – and begin to break the stranglehold that the NRA has on our politics.

  • It closes the "boyfriend loophole" so that those who are convicted of domestic abuse cannot buy guns. Every month, 70 women are shot and killed in America by intimate partners.
  • It provides federal funding for states to implement red flag laws – laws that will allow family members to reach out to law enforcement to take guns away from those who are a danger to themselves or others.
  • It creates a new system of enhanced background checks for 18-, 19-, and 20-year olds who want to buy assault rifles and long guns, and ensures they don't get the gun until they pass the background check.
  • Ensures that all commercial sellers of guns are required to register as gun dealers and conduct background checks of their customers.

Is it enough? Of course not. But as Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, said, "We're breaking the logjam in Congress. Our grassroots army has been demanding action from the Senate for nearly a decade and now we'll fight like hell to get this historic deal over the finish line."

Of course, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we need to fix the filibuster. The only reason we have to find ten Republicans to join this coalition is because the filibuster requires 60 votes. And that means that even though the American people overwhelmingly support major reforms – like banning assault weapons and safe storage requirements – those were never even considered for this reform package.

In my time in the Senate, we've never passed meaningful gun safety legislation. So, as Shannon Watts said, I'll fight like hell to get this done. And then I'll fight like hell – as I've been doing for years – to fix the filibuster so that we can get even more done.



Posted on June 15, 2022.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

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