October 3, 2022
Senators are trying to clear a gun control bill through their chamber before the July 4 recess, in the wake of several recent mass shootings in Texas, New York and elsewhere.

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Top Senate negotiators Tuesday agreed to the details of a much-anticipated gun bill as they seek to take action in the wake of recent mass shootings.

A group including Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., completed work on the text of a bill Tuesday, Cornyn said on the Senate floor.

Those four were part of a larger group including 10 Republican and 10 Democrats who agreed to a framework earlier this month. Speaking on the Senate floor late Tuesday afternoon, Cornyn said that he believes as those senators see the bill they will “see that the text supports these principles.”

The Senate will likely take until later this week or the weekend to pass the gun bill, if it has the votes. 

The Senate will likely take until later this week or the weekend to pass the gun bill, if it has the votes.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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“My understanding is the text will be released at essentially any moment,” Cornyn said. 

The breakthrough Tuesday came after the negotiators struggled with multiple hurdles during their negotiations. 

The details of who would be barred from owning a firearm to close the “boyfriend loophole” on domestic violence offenders, and the details of how the federal government would encourage state red flag laws, led to delays last week.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is the lead Republican negotiator on a bipartisan Senate gun bill. 

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is the lead Republican negotiator on a bipartisan Senate gun bill.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Then, after optimism that the bill would be released Monday, a last-second hangup on the Hyde Amendment appeared to push back the release a little longer.  

But with the July 4 recess bearing down and senators itching to take some action before leaving town, senators finally agreed on all the details and are set to release the text, Cornyn said. 

Whether the bill passes will depend on if all 10 of the Senate Republicans who agreed to the framework are satisfied with the details of the final bill and whether any others join on. 

Senate negotiators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., released the text of their bipartisan gun bill Tuesday. 

Senate negotiators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., released the text of their bipartisan gun bill Tuesday.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It will likely take until later this week or the weekend before the bill clears the Senate, if it has the votes to pass.

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It is not clear whether the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will be able to pass the bill before July 4, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has indicated that her members would do so even if the Senate bill does not go as far as Democrats want.