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Deadly Violence Erupts Over Holiday Weekend as Lawmakers Iron Out Framework for Gun Reform

06-20-2022
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A weekend of gun violence in America went on in the background as high-stakes gun reform negotiations continue for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  

Three senior citizens were killed at a church in Alabama Thursday night.

A Juneteenth celebration Sunday in Washington, D.C. ended with a teenager dead. One person was killed and eight others were wounded during a shooting in New York City early Monday morning.

Robert Contee, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said in a news conference that firearms are turning up in the wrong hands.

"Right before the shooting occurred, our officers recovered a firearm, an illegal firearm right here in the 1400 block of U Street. And shortly before I walked down here, I also recovered another illegal firearm down in the 1400 block of T Street and was chasing another person with illegal firearm in the area," Contee said.

"So, there's a theme that you see here," he continued. "Illegal firearms in the hands of people who should not have them make events like this, unsafe for people who just want to enjoy the beautiful weather."

The chaos in D.C. erupted after what police call an unpermitted event called "Moechella" celebrating Juneteenth. A 15-year-old was killed, a D.C. police officer, and two other adults were wounded. Police didn't have a suspect as of Monday.

Negotiations continue for gun reform legislation as lawmakers pushed to find common ground. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) took the lead in negotiations for Republicans, but he was met with jeers in his home state at the Texas Republican Convention.

Still, he tried to make the case for the bipartisan deal.

"So you might ask what is on the table? More mental health resources, more support for our schools, and making sure violent criminals and the mentally ill cannot buy a firearm. That means enforcing our current law," Cornyn said to the booing crowd.

President Joe Biden said over the weekend he's ready for a bill to reach his desk and he was happy with the progress between Republicans and Democrats.

The terms of the deal were reportedly being worked on all weekend. 

The hang-ups included red flag laws and the ability to stop a domestic abuser from purchasing a gun. It will be tough, but not impossible, to get the bill in writing and passed before Congress goes on the July 4th break starting next week. 

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