CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The U.S. Senate has reached a tentative deal on certain gun restrictions, in an effort to curb mass shootings.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is among those at the center of it. If this ultimately passes, it would mark the first time in 30 years any significant gun-related legislation came out of Congress.
The legislation comes in the wake of a Texas school shooting two weeks ago which left 21 dead.
This bill would not ban assault weapons, nor raise the age to buy them to 21. But it would provide millions of dollars to enhance school security.
It would allow deeper background checks on gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21. And it would allow state “red flag” laws with court orders to take guns from people identified with mental illness and likely to harm someone. Two West Virginia leaders are sharply divided on red flag laws.
“When they see all the investments we are making into mental illness and trying to prevent and help young people who are very disturbed and having a hard time identifying, I think they’ll be seeing the value in what we are doing,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia, who is supportive of red flag laws.
“You know Red Flag laws within West Virginia, I think the key to the whole thing is with West Virginians, is one thing and that is proper due process,” Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, who is concerned red flag laws might be abused.
Ten Senate Republicans have said they will support the bill, meaning it will pass if all Democrats vote yes.
Senator Shelly Moore Capito praised the bipartisan effort but says she must wade through the details before deciding how she will vote.
Sen. Rob Portman (R) Ohio, is one of the 10 GOP lawmakers to commit to passing the bill.