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Bipartisan group of senators introduce gun control legislation in the wake of mass shootings

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A bipartisan group of senators have released legislative text for their gun bill, which includes enhanced background checks for those under 21, funding for mental health and school safety, incentives for states to implement “red flag” laws and limits on the “boyfriend loophole.”

Why it matters: This bill falls well short of what Democrats and President Biden want but if passed, it will be the most significant gun safety legislation in decades.

Timing: Senators are racing to get this bill passed before they break at the end of the week for their two-week, July 4 recess. That vote could slide into this weekend.

Once passed, the House is expected to take it up swiftly and send it to President Biden’s desk.

Behind the scenes: The talks between the “core fore” senators involved — Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — stalled late last week over a series of sticking points.

The group struggled to reach a compromise on details over the red flag provision, which is especially unpopular among conservatives who fear it will too easy to strip Americans of their 2nd amendment rights, and the “boyfriend loophole,” which would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, unmarried or not.Cornyn, the top Republican negotiator, also faced immense pressure from inside the GOP conference to pare the package back. Cornyn was booed in Texas last week, which many senators feared could impact how the gun talks would play out.

What they’re saying: “Today, we finalized bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” Murphy, Cornyn, Sinema and Tillis said in a joint statement.

“Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights.”

The backdrop: The gun safety package comes amid increased pressure on Congress to act in the wake of several mass shootings last month, including at one an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 kids and two teachers and another that killed 10 at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

The House passed its own package of gun control bills earlier this month that goes beyond the one introduced in the Senate Tuesday by raising the legal purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and banning the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of large-capacity magazines.

Read the 80-page legislative text.