Advocates for gun reform are calling the newly announced bipartisan framework for federal legislation in the wake of last month's mass shootings only "the beginning."
Linda Beigel Schulman, the mother of one of the victims of the high school shooting in Parkland, reacted to the Sunday news with skepticism. "I am cautiously optimistic," were her first words in a video posted to Facebook.
"When this gun safety legislation passes the House and the Senate, and then is signed by President Biden, I will cheer the accomplishment with all of you," Schulman added. "Make no mistake about it, this is only the first step toward meaningful federal gun safety legislation."
The bipartisan proposal would provide juvenile records for gun buyers under 21 when they undergo background checks. The agreement would offer money to states to enact and put in place “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, plus funds to bolster school safety and mental health programs.
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"We all know baby steps are better than no steps at all. This legislation, when enacted, is not the beginning of the end of our quest for responsible gun safety legislation, but only the end of the beginning," she said.
The Long island mother to teacher Scott Beigel, one of 17 people killed in the 2018 shooting, has become a resounding voice championing legislation focused on gun safety in the years since her son's death.
Last week, Schulman joined Gov. Kathy Hochul when the Democrat signed 10 gun-related bills, including one that prohibits anyone under 21 from buying semiautomatic rifles.
New York's Legislature passed the bills, pushing the changes through after a pair of mass shootings involving 18-year-old gunmen using semiautomatic rifles. Ten Black people died in a racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket May 14. A Texas school shooting took the lives of 19 children and two teachers 10 days later.
The governor said New York will continue to invest in prevention of gun-related crimes by partnering with local communities and continuing to strengthen laws by putting pressure on Congress.
"We got this done. We made the United States Senate not only hear, but listen to our voices. We must continue to fight for additional and meaningful legislation on a federal level," Schulman said concluding her message.