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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Cornyn on Bipartisan Gun Deal  CSPAN  June 14, 2022 8:31am-8:48am EDT

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government. >> over the weekend senate negotiators announced they have reached a deal on what to include in the new gun safety bill. majority leader chuck schumer gave his approval of the proposal and promised to bring the legislation up for a vote as soon as possible. we heard more about the agreement from texas senator john cornyn who led negotiations on the republican side. >> madam president, tomorrow will mark three weeks since the devastating school shooting in you baldly texas. over those last three weeks managers murphy from kinetic, senator sinema from arizona, senator tillis of north carolina and others have been working to identify steps that congress should take to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. this is not an easy debate.
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it's emotional. they can be divisive but it's also very important that we act. most often you hear people say do something. well, they don't give a lot of guidance on whaton that somethig looks like. and when you begin to dig down into the details you find out that there's not a lot of consensus about what that something should lookns like. the good news is as result of the work we've been doing these last three weeks working with our colleagues, i believe we're making good progress. over the weekend there was an agreement reached between 20 senators, ten republicans and ten democrats on a framework or principles for bipartisan legislation to keep our kids and our communitiesp safe. before i go through some of the details of this agreed framework
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i want to explain what it does and what it does not include. from the beginning i promised my constituents that when i took an oath to uphold theti constitutin of laws off the united states i did not take that oath with the intention of violating it. and so i said at the outset i would not support any additional restrictions on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. there are hundreds of millions of guns in america today, and the vast majority, almost all of those gunowners, are responsible. they are not a threat to public safety. and so this being a a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, there is no basis to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners, or to
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restrict the constitutional rights of any of our citizens. i made clear this is a red line of mine fromm the outset, and this bipartisan agreement on principle makes good on that commitment. the gun related provisions in this proposal will only impact criminalss and those adjudicated mentally ill. law-abiding gun owners will not be subject to any new restrictions, period. our agreement also strengthens existing background check system, something we've had strong bipartisan support for and where we had some notable successes in the past. for example, the fix nics bill after this tragic sutherland, spring shooting where an individual who should not even able to get a firearm because of his record of felonies and domestic violence and mental health o commitments was able to do so because the air force had
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not uploaded that information into the background check system. i'm proud of the fact from a bipartisan basis that we passed that legislation which compelled federal agenciesse to post derogatory information, which disqualifies people under current law in the national criminal background check system. since 2018 when that bill was signed into law, the big 11 and a half million new records uploaded into the background check system. as i i said our agreement on e background check system in this particular legislation is an attempt to try to make sure that existing law works the way that congress intended. i am very proud of the bipartisan work that led to this framework and i'm eagerer to she more with my republican
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colleagues this week. the various portions of this proposal can be grouped into three broad categories, one is mental health support. to prevent violence we need to improve the availability and accessibility of mental health services across the country. if you look at the profile of these young male shooters, whether it's in sandy hook or it's in uvalde, texas, they fit a familiar profile. alienated from their peers, suffering increasingly deteriorating mental health, not getting any treatment. it's like circling down the drain, and unless they get some help, they're likely to do what unfortunately too many of our young people do, that is commit suicide. and in the i case of sandy hook, salvador in uvalde, uvay
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commit suicide because they know they're not coming out alive, they take innocent lives with them. so access to mental health support is absolutely critical. so is investment of our schools. this includes everything from physically heartening l buildings to train personnel to more effective violence prevention efforts. we know uvalde the door had a a lock on it b but it didn't work. allowing the shooter easy access to this elementary school. deserve to feel safe in their schools. andln no parent should send ther child to school worried that they may not come home they deserve to know their child will be safe at school and peace of mind that goes along with them.
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that's why i think these resources for additional school hardening of that soft target is very important. the final portion provides targeted reforms to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who already by law should not have guns to begin with. our proposal includes resources for states to implement crisis intervention orders. some have talked about red flag laws of thatme is actually a broader category that exist in 16 states. as i have said, some of this assistance for crisis intervention orders willl help administer existing red flag laws. but my hope is others will qualify for these resources, for other important measures to help provide support for our communities to aid in crisis
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intervention, things like assisted outpatient treatment centers. as i said, 16 states have red flag laws, this does not. and they certainly shouldn't miss out on access to these resources for crisiss intervention. but one of the things you hear people concerned with the y most when itrn comes to these red flg laws where people who are filed after an adjudication to be a danger to themselves and others can lose access to the firearms on a temporary basis. it's absolutely critical that each and every one of those includes protection that comes from due process of law. and particularly really comes to the rights of law-abiding gun owners. our framework also includes protections for victims of domestic violence that shouldn't matter whether the victim is married to their abuser, if the
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abuser is convicted of domestic violence they should not be able to purchase a firearm. ourel proposal also cracks downn illegal sellers and manufacturers of firearms, like the man who sold a gun to the shooter who killed seven people and injured 25 others and midland and odessa out in west texas. the shooter knew he couldn't pass a traditional background test, so he traveled to lubbock, texas, and purchased a firearm from somebody who made knockoff ar-15s off the parts he purchased over the internet. and, of course, the background check was done and tragedy ensued. the provisions also include a review of juvenile records for buyers under the age of 21. in uvalde salvador ramos was able to pass a background check on the because no one had any
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insightt official insight into his tortured background. i said before before he was a ticking time bomb come somebody who mutilated himself, threatened assault, including sexual assault, against his fellow students. somebody who posted pictures online of weapons that he bought and threatened online to go shoot up a school. we need to know before somebody walks in and buys a firearm when they turn 18 what their mental health and criminal record history looks like, to the extent feasible. and then we need to incentivize more states like the state of south carolina and virginia that currently upload mental health adjudications even for juveniles. to be clear, we agreed on a
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press statement, a set of principles. that was very important and hard-fought. and now comes even the more difficult task of trying to a agree on legislative text to actually implement those principles. and that's what we are working on this week. my hope is that we can complete that job in the next few days, hopefully by the end of the week, so the bill will be available for all senators, indeed all the world, to read. and then senator schumer will have that available should he choose to do so to put on the floor of the senate next week. there's been a lot of talk and speculation in the press about what was included in the bill. and i am pleased to say that i believe the principles that we came up with will save lives. to mell that's the ultimate goa, just like the legislation we passed in 2018 to fix the
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background check system after sutherland springs. i believe the principles we articulated, if carried out in legislative text, which i expect them to be, will save lives. that's our goal. but we also understand we are operating here in the senate with asphyxiation vote threshold. 59 votes won't get it. and any lesser number will not allow us to vote off, to close debate and then to pass a bill. and so i want to just talk about ideas that were left out of this deal because we knew they would jeopardize our ability to get the 60 votes. there's a lotot of desire on boh sides to include additional things but they were excluded in
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large part because of our necessityy of getting the 60 votes in order to get a bill. for example, proposals on universalil background checks, assault weapon bans for 18-21-year-olds, mandatory waiting periods, 21 waiting day period for purchases are all firearm for all 18-21-year-olds, high-capacity magazine bans, unconstitutional mandatory safe storage requirements of all firearms in homes, licensing requirements forom purchasing an assault weapon, criminal penalties for negligent storage of firearms in home, and low mens rea, that's a criminal state of mind, standard for straw purchasing and trafficking firearms. alll of these have been proposed by either president biden or many of our democratic colleagues and were not included in the statement of principles that was agreed to by ten
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republicans and ten democrats. we knew including any of these components would jeopardize our ability to get a deal. and so anytime ournd democratic colleagues tried to push the envelope as far as they could we had to remind them of that requirement and push back. again, my view, my red line, my starting point, , my purpose in all of this is law-abiding gun owners are nots the problem. law-abiding gun owners who pass the background check have a second amendment right to purchase a firearm. and no limitation on their rights is going to prevent shootings like uvalde or sandy hook or sutherland springs. so focusing on the problem, which are keeping criminals and people with mental health
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problems from purchasing firearms under existing law, i believe is the right formula to build consensus and get a bill on the president's desk. we are still working as a set through a lotot of the details t i'm encouraged about where things stand right now. as i've said, my goal all along is the art of the possible. that's what politics is. it's the art of the possible. it's not everything i want and nothing you want. or everything you want and nothing i want. that's how not to get a deal. that's how not to accomplish anything. i am hoping that ten republicans supporting the bill isth not the ceiling but is the floor, and we can continue to work with our colleagues to help them understand these principles that we've agree to, the 20 of us, and to write legislative text
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that can earn broad bipartisan support, may be super majority support here in the united states senate. i want to personally thank our colleague senator murphy, senator sinema and senator tillis from working in good faith to get us to this point, as well as a number of other senators who contributed to this bipartisan proposal. we still have a lot of work ahead of us. i think in many ways this is a beginning not the middle or the end of our work. because now we need to put these principles into legislative text, and then we need to get it on the senate floor, get it passed, get it passed in the house and then get it to president biden's desk. i will be sharing for the updates with my colleagues on, in thehe republican conference this week. and i hope working together with senator tillis and others


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