A bipartisan group of Senators have announced a “breakthrough” on gun reform, and the press is reporting it as a significant breakthrough. But it’s not a significant breakthrough.
It’s a nothingburger.
Here’s what the “breakthrough” contains:
- Financial incentives for states to enact “red flag” laws designed to remove guns from potentially dangerous people;
- Additional investment in mental health services;
- Expanded background checks for gun purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21;
- Ending the “boyfriend loophole” that allows unmarried partners with domestic violence records to own guns;
- Funding for certain school safety measures;
- Longer reviews for gun buyers who are under 21;
- Penalties for illegal straw purchases by convicted criminals.
I’ll tell you what’s not in the “breakthrough”:
- Banning military-style assault weapons.
- Requiring universal background checks for all gun sales.
- Closing gun sale loopholes and requiring background checks on all commercial gun sales.
- Removing the prohibition on gun violence research by the CDC.
- Banning bump stocks and limiting the size of ammunition clips.
- Passing a federal “red flag” bill that applies universally to all states.
- Requiring gun owners to be insured, just like car owners.
- Removing the liability protections of gun manufacturers
- Requiring gun manufacturers to install safety measures.
I’ll tell you what else isn’t in the “breakthrough”: any actual bill text.
Nothing has yet been drafted. It could take weeks to draft the actual language, in which time plenty of the 20 Republicans who are allegedly on board with the compromise could get off board.
So it’s a nothingburger. Sorry folks.