Wall Street Journal endorses bipartisan gun deal

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The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal is throwing its support behind the bipartisan gun reform deal put forth by the Senate this week.

“The Senate compromise makes sense politically for both parties,” the Journal wrote on Thursday in an editorial titled “A Sensible Senate Gun Deal.” “Democrats can claim progress on the issue after decades of failure, while Republicans can point to their bipartisan cooperation and then focus on the economy and other issues in the fall campaign. The gun lobby and those who want to ban guns aren’t happy, but the bill preserves gun rights while trying to keep guns away from the dangerous. That’s a step forward.”

This week the Senate introduced the Safer Communities Act, a bill that includes enhanced background checks on juvenile records for those purchasing firearms between the ages of 18 and 21. It also provides money for state-level red flag laws and closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” that allows some convicted of domestic violence to buy guns, among other measures.

The one “sour note,” about the bill, the Journal argued, was a “rush to pass” it.

“Negotiators had barely unveiled the 80 pages of text on Tuesday before Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held the vote to proceed,” the newspaper wrote of the New York Democrat. “Democrats want to move on to another tax-and-spend reconciliation bill, but legislators deserve time to consider the biggest change in gun and safety laws in decades.”

The bipartisan proposal earned the support of 14 Senate Republicans who voted for it to advance past a procedural hurdle on Tuesday.

Two leading House Republicans, however, have signaled opposition to the proposal.

A vote on the bill is expected in the Senate on Thursday.