Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will put forward amendments to a Senate gun bill hammered out between Republicans and Democrats over weeks of closed-door negotiations.
The bill, coming in the wake of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead, has received mixed reactions on Capitol Hill.
Some provisions have broad bipartisan support.
For example, the bill would allocate $15 billion to mental healthcare access and increasing school security, a measure that was particularly popular among Republicans. To offset these costs, the bill delays the implementation of a Medicare drug rebate program that proponents say will save the federal government $21 billion.
However, other measures, including measures to close the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” measures incentivizing states to adopt red-flag laws, and increasing background check requirements, have proven more controversial.
‘Concerned About Constitutional Deficiencies’
Paul excoriated the bill and announced his intention to put forward amendments in a June 22 tweet thread.
“No one wants to see guns in the hands of criminals, and no one wants to see tragedies like we saw recently in Texas,” Paul wrote. “I’m both a law-abiding gun owner, and a parent, and I want our schools and kids safe.
“While we have many laws in place to do that already, there should be things we can agree on as legislators to improve upon this. For example, I support legislation to include juvenile records of violent crimes to be included in background checks.
“Looking at the recent criminal past of anyone is a good idea before assessing gun ownership. However, that idea was paired with many questionable or bad ones in this legislation.
“I am concerned about constitutional deficiencies in many red flag laws,” Paul wrote.
Paul, who has often broken with party leadership over civil liberties and constitutional rights issues, has in the past made similar efforts to slow or stall progress on bills that he considers unconstitutional or ill-advised.
However, many of these efforts have floundered in bipartisan votes rejecting Paul’s amendments or proposals, as seems likely to happen with any amendment he offers to the gun bill.