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Senate GOP Alternative Gun Bill: School Security, Straw Purchases And Mental Health

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By Susan Duclos

Senate Republicans are crafting their own senate gun bill, using ideas that have bipartisan support, including a gun-trafficking provision which beefs up penalties for straw purchases of guns, extra school safety measures and the scope of mental health information submitted to the background check system used by gun sellers.

All issues that strengthen gun laws without violating the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Politico explains the reasoning for Republicans to have an alternative plan crafted:

Reid would need 60 votes to overcome that all-but-guaranteed filibuster, and some red state Democrats are not enthusiastic about the gun package and its expansion of background checks. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is attempting to craft a compromise background checks bill, but other than Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), there do not appear to be any Republicans willing to sign onto a deal at this point.

But even if Reid is able to muster the votes needed to start debate on the Democratic gun package, a GOP alternative bill — which could include bipartisan language by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to expand the scope of mental health information submitted to the background check system used by gun sellers — could prove attractive to many senators.

One top Senate Republican aide called Grassley’s alternative bill “a break-the-glass kit” in case Reid does round up 60 votes.

The question then would become, would liberal Democrats vote against a gun bill that has bipartisan support and end up with no gun bill at all, just because it is the GOP alternative?


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