McConnell declares support for Senate gun safety legislation

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he was likely willing to vote for gun legislation based on a recent bipartisan framework, signaling that Congress could act in the wake of the recent shootings of mass.

“I myself am comfortable with the framework, and if the legislation ends up reflecting what the framework says, I will support it,” McConnell, R-Ky, said Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, walks to the Senate at the United States Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, walks to the Senate at the United States Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

McConnell also said in his remarks that individual members will decide their vote based on the opinions of their states. That comment appears to be a nod to the fact that most Senate Republicans should oppose the framework. Many say they fear any new federal legislation will violate Americans’ Second Amendment or due process rights.

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McConnell is no stranger to supporting bills that most of his members oppose. Last year, the GOP leader backed the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate with the support of just 19 of 50 Senate Republicans.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, led the bipartisan gun deal negotiations at McConnell’s request. He and nine other Republican senators, along with 10 Democrats, announced agreement on a framework for a bill on Sunday.

Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks at the United States Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC

Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks at the United States Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

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“Today, we are announcing a common-sense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence in our country,” the group said in a statement.

It’s unclear how many Republicans will support the final version of the proposed legislation. That will likely depend on whether or not there are disputes over specific legislative language at the time members draft the bill.

A banner hangs from a memorial outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, June 3.

A banner hangs from a memorial outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, June 3.
(AP/Eric Gay)

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Senate talks on gun legislation have begun following several mass shootings in recent weeks, including one in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults. There was also a racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 people.

More recently, three people were killed and one injured in a shooting Thursday in Smithsburg, Maryland. A man opened fire in a break room of a Columbia Machine factory.

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