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Senators Warner and Kaine support bipartisan compromise on gun legislation

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 8:09 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, DC (WDBJ) - Despite the nation’s deep political divide, Democrats and Republicans have found common ground in their response to recent mass shootings.

A tentative compromise in the U.S. Senate could clear the way for legislation that would target gun violence, and both of Virginia’s U.S. Senators say they support the proposal.

“If we’d done nothing it would just be so pathetic,” Warner told WDBJ7 in an interview. “So I am grateful there is agreement.”

The tentative compromise includes more funding for mental health care and school security, additional oversight on young gun buyers, stronger penalties for straw purchases, and incentives for states to impose extreme risk protection orders.

Retired Roanoke College Professor Harry Wilson has written three books on gun control. He said it’s surprising, and refreshing, to see the two political parties working together on the issue.

“It’s more than just window dressing. There is some substance here, and both sides get some of what they’ve been looking for,” Wilson said in an interview.

Both of Virginia’s Senators support additional measures, such as universal background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines.

But they also say there is value in this compromise.

“For those who are frustrated that this is a compromise, what would they do?” Warner asked. “The alternative would be doing nothing.”

“The bill doesn’t have to have everything or be perfect to be a good bill,” Kaine added. “I think this is a good bill, so I’m going to do what I can to support it.”

There’s more work ahead. Senators still have to draft the legislation, and as Wilson told us, “the devil is in the details.”

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