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Senate Gun Negotiations Delayed Amid 'Boyfriend Loophole' Talks

Senate negotiators failed to reach a final deal on the text of a gun-safety proposal, which means the bill probably will be delayed at least a week, The Hill reports. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said negotiators hadn’t reached agreement on the final draft of the bill after several rounds of meetings Thursday. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), the lead Democratic negotiator, said the goal had been to get a final agreement on legislative text by Thursday, which would have given Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) a chance to schedule it for a vote next week. Murphy downplayed the significance of failing to get a deal after several days of in-person talks.

Negotiators say they’re stuck on two provisions in the bill's bipartisan framework: a proposal to send hundreds of millions of dollars states to set up red flag laws or other intervention procedures for taking guns away from people deemed dangerous to the community and another to close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” Closing the boyfriend loophole would bar intimate or romantic partners convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse claims from possessing firearms. Senators haven’t yet agreed on a restitution process for current and former dating partners to regain their rights to own guns after a period of time. The question of restoring the gun-ownership rights of romantic partners has opened a debate about whether spouses, ex-spouses and current or former co-habitants should also have a pathway to regaining gun-ownership rights after being convicted of misdemeanor abuse charges.


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