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Senators Leave D.C. 'Very Close' To Agreement on Modest Gun Bill

Senators left Washington, D.C., without reaching a deal on gun-violence legislation, disappointing Democrats who had hoped to issue a joint statement with Republicans on a framework, The Hill reports. Democrats say they are “very close” to an agreement with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the lead Republican negotiator, but Democratic and Republican staff still need to hammer out differences over language. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), the lead Democratic negotiator,hoped to put out a joint statement with Cornyn before lawmakers left town but Cornyn declined to sign onto any statement until there’s an agreement on the language of the core proposals. “There’s not an agreement until we agree on everything,” Cornyn said. “We’ve narrowed the issues considerably.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he wanted a deal by the end of this week and has come under pressure from progressives to force a Senate vote on gun-control legislation if Republicans don’t agree to a compromise bill soon. Senators are looking for a deal that can bring 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster in the 50-50 Senate. Every Democrat is expected to vote for the legislation. Two sticking points are whether to mandate requirements for the safe storage of firearms at home and how to define commercial sellers of firearms. Republicans want to create tax incentives for the sale of safe storage equipment while Democrats want to also add mandates for safe storage. Another tricky issue is how to handle people who make a business of selling firearms online but are not required to conduct background checks because they don’t hold federal firearm licenses. Leading law enforcement groups were scheduled Friday to issue statements seeking Senate action on guns. They include the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Fraternal Order of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, and International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators


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