“If the legislation ends up reflecting what the framework indicates, I’ll be supportive,” Mr. McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a step forward on a bipartisan basis,” he said, praising the work of negotiators.
The proposal would crack down on illegal sales of guns, fund mental-health programs and school security enhancements, and close the “boyfriend loophole” that allows convicted domestic abusers to buy guns if they aren’t married to their partner. It also would provide incentives for states to implement and enforce red-flag laws and require an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records for 18-to-21-year-old gun purchasers.
At least 60 votes will be required to advance the bill in the 50-50 Senate, under the chamber’s longstanding filibuster rule.
Biden and most Democrats have said they would support the policies in the framework, even though it falls short of their broader proposal that passed the House. That bill would ban high-capacity magazines and ban people under age 21 from buying assault-style semiautomatic rifles, provisions that weren’t part of the Senate discussion.
“It’s time to get done what can be agreed to and actually happen,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.).
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday that he would hold a vote on the gun package as soon as it is written. He said he spoke on Tuesday morning to lead negotiators Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), and they are aiming to complete the legislative text in coming days.
“The heavy lifting is done,” said Mr. Murphy. “I’m confident we can get there, and get there soon,” he said.
Mr. Cornyn, who had been tapped by Mr. McConnell to lead the talks, pitched fellow Senate Republicans on the bipartisan framework Tuesday, working to allay concerns from some lawmakers about whether the proposed provisions about red-flag laws and domestic-violence prevention will protect gun owners’ due-process rights.
Mr. Cornyn walked them through the framework point by point, and answered questions, senators at the lunch said.