FederalGunsTaxes & SpendingU.S. Senate Gives Initial Approval to Cornyn’s Bipartisan Firearm Restrictions, Mental Health Spending Bill

Republican delegates jeered Sen. John Cornyn in Houston last week as he worked on legislation with Democrats to reform U.S. gun laws.
June 22, 2022
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The U.S. Senate gave preliminary approval to a gun control bill on Tuesday night after Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of his colleagues orchestrated a compromise in response to the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The vote was 64 to 34.

Cornyn, as well as Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), commented on the agreement in a news release.

“Today, we finalized bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” the senators remarked in a joint statement.

“Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense legislation into law.”

The bill increases funding intended to support mental health through Medicaid and other government programs. It also clarifies that certain entries in juvenile justice records may disqualify someone under 21 from purchasing a firearm.

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The legislation makes amendments to the background check process and changes aimed at strengthening efforts against straw gun purchases and firearms trafficking.

It also broadens the definition of a “romantic relationship” for the purpose of domestic violence in the context of revoking someone’s legal right to purchase a weapon, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

There are also provisions designed to protect due process rights. However, opponents of gun control measures contend that law-abiding citizens could be denied the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The bill includes billions of dollars in appropriations for federal departments such as the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) voted against the bill.

In Houston last week, Cornyn faced the ire of state GOP delegates at their biennial convention as he spoke on topics including gun reform. His speech was partially drowned out by jeers and booing that echoed throughout the convention hall.

A copy of the legislation can be found below.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.