U.S Senators consider gun legislation following Uvalde and Buffalo shootings

Courtesy of: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Courtesy of: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

(Washington, D.C.) -- Senators from both sides of the political aisle are discussing gun legislation following two mass shootings within 10 days of each other.

A group of 10 senators say two pieces of legislation have moved to the forefront; red flag laws and background check expansion. Other conversations around arming teachers, closing gun purchasing loopholes, and banning assault rifles are also being held, but lack sufficient support from both Democrats or Republicans. 

Red Flag Laws...

  • Allows State judges to temporarily take guns away from individuals who may harm themselves or others. 
  • Other versions exist, like "yellow flag" laws, which require a medical professional to permit the seizure of firearms. 
  • Republican senators are signaling against a federal implementation of red flag laws. A compromise may come in the form of federal grants, which states could access if they implement a flag law. 

Background Check Expansion...

  • Senators Joe Manchin (D- W.Va) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa) introduced a bill nearly a decade ago which would expand current background check processes to all commercial gun sales. This would include gun shows and internet sales. 
  • The bill has been brought up multiple times, including after the Newtown massacre in 2013 and the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. The bill was defeated each time in the Senate.
  • Bill co-author Toomey signaled concern with current support from Republicans colleagues.

You can learn more about the Buffalo shooting by clicking here, and the Uvalde shooting by clicking here