School shootings: Mitt Romney opposes laws that violate gun rights

There are lines Sen. Mitt Romney says he wouldn’t cross as a bipartisan group of senators works to draft legislation from a framework on gun safety measures unveiled this week.

“Neither I nor my fellow Republicans (will) vote for anything that violates the Second Amendment rights of our citizens. It is not a piece of legislation that takes away guns or restricts people’s right to buy guns. It doesn’t make assault weapons illegal or major magazines illegal,” he said in a conference call with reporters in Utah on Wednesday.

“We’re not going to support, if you will, a gun bill that violates the right to own guns.”

Romney, R-Utah, is among a group of 10 Republican and 10 Democratic senators who announced a framework for gun safety legislation last Sunday. The deal includes resources for states to implement red flag laws, investments in mental health treatment and school safety, and an additional level of screening for gun buyers under the age of 21 years old.

There’s still a lot of negotiation and drafting to do since the framework was agreed upon, he said, adding that the Senate is unlikely to vote on a bill next week. He said more time would be needed to draft the bill and give senators time to consider it.

Still, he said with support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., he believes the Senate will end up with a bill that makes schools safer and protects the rights of children. gun owners. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said earlier this week that he wants the bill introduced as soon as possible.

Romney said not all the details have been worked out and “there is still a long way to go.”

One of the areas still under discussion concerns ensuring due process in any state laws that might restrict the ability of someone deemed a danger to themselves or the community to have a firearm. fire, he said. Red flag or extreme risk laws allow police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may pose a danger to others or for herself.

The senators, he said, are also discussing the kinds of red flag laws or gun safety programs that would qualify for federal funding.

States that don’t have red flag laws would still be able to tap into federal funding if they had a crisis intervention center or some other program that made it harder for people in trouble to commit crimes. acts of violence, Romney said.

Shortly after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last month, Romney said red flag laws “make a lot of sense” and that states would be “wise” to pass them.

The Republican-controlled Utah Legislature rejected the Red Flag laws. But Romney said the state’s SafeUT app — which provides real-time crisis intervention for students, parents and educators via live chat and a confidential advice line — should qualify for a grant. federal.

“That’s the current understanding,” he said. “We will see what the final legislation will look like.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, did not take a position on the proposal, saying earlier this week that he looked forward to reviewing the legislation.

“I will always stand on the side of the Second Amendment, law-abiding Americans, due process and justice,” he said.

The House last week passed a bill banning the sale of semi-automatic weapons to those under 21 and banning the sale of high-capacity magazines. All four GOP congressmen from Utah voted against. The measure seems to be going nowhere in the Senate.

Earlier this month, Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, introduced legislation that would redirect unused U.S. bailout funds to help identify and implement “evidence-based” school safety measures. . Of the $122 billion allocated to K-12 schools under last year’s $1.9 trillion relief bill, about 93% remains unused, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is one of two dozen Republican co-sponsors of the bill.

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