‘I am cautiously optimistic’: National conversation surrounding gun reform continues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senate negotiators announced Sunday that they had reached a tentative agreement pushing gun safety reform.

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The proposed framework considers issues surrounding mental health, school safety and illegal gun purchases.

Action News Jax spoke with Dawn Grant, who is the owner of Amelia Shotgun Sports in Yulee. She also works as a mental therapist and a hypnotherapist.

“Being that I am in the mental health profession, I have witnessed personally people that I do believe have mental illnesses that are maybe undiagnosed or unidentified or they are diagnosed, but that doesn’t necessarily stop them from getting a gun when the criminal background check is looking for crime,” Grant said.

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Senators have created a bipartisan framework, and they’re hopeful a bill created from it could pass.

“I am cautiously optimistic that we can get this passed out of the Senate in about the next two weeks before early July,” Sen. Chris Coons, (D) Del., said.

The proposal also includes “major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs.”

But that’s far from all.

The proposal also includes funding to encourage states to pass “Red Flag” laws, which are aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others.

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Access would be granted to search juvenile records during background checks for buyers under 21.

The outline does not include a renewal of the so-called assault weapons ban and also does not raise the age to purchase a firearm.

“It’s not the gun,” Grant said. “It’s not the knife. It’s not these weapons. It’s the person. I would really love to see a solution to that problem, but it has to be fair. It can’t be false allegations.”

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The proposal has the support of 10 Republican senators, which could be strong enough to overcome the Senate filibuster.

“We’re not at the finish line, but we can see it,” Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Ill., said. “That’s an encouraging development.”