Senators reach bipartisan gun control deal: report
© Greg Nash

A group of Democratic and Republican senators has reached a deal on creating new gun legislation that would add more information to the database used for background checks on firearm purchasers. 

Politico reported Wednesday that Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynTop GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results Trump keeps tight grip on GOP amid divisions MORE (R-Texas) and Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Biden decides on pick for secretary of State Overnight Defense: Formal negotiations inch forward on defense bill with Confederate base name language | Senators look to block B UAE arms sales | Trump administration imposes Iran sanctions over human rights abuses MORE (D-Conn.) have reached a deal on legislation aimed at fixing what they say is a deeply flawed National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The bill lawmakers plan on introducing would create incentives for states to send more information on criminal activity to the database, and also hold federal agencies accountable for sending information to the background check system. 


Cornyn and Murphy's initiative gained some bipartisan momentum earlier this month after a gunman opened fire on a church in southern Texas, killing 26 people.

It was revealed shortly after the attack that the gunman, 26-year-old Devin Kelley, was able to slip through the system and purchase firearms, despite a known history of violence.

Kelley was convicted of domestic abuse in a court-martial in 2012, while he was serving in the Air Force. He was sentenced to a year in confinement and a bad conduct discharge.

But the Air Force never reported the conviction to the FBI's criminal database, which is used to conduct background checks for firearm purchases. Had it been reported, Kelley would have been barred from buying guns.

The proposed bipartisan legislation would incentivize states with federal grants to submit in-depth reports of criminal and mental health histories into the system, which many states aren't currently required to do.

It would also deal out punishments for federal agencies who do not submit proper records to the system, according to NBC News, such as the withholding of bonuses for political appointees. 

An official announcement of the legislation is expected to come Thursday.