By Robert Brown
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska on Thursday described as responsible and “targeted” a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing gun violence.
The Republican said the measure represents compromise.
“No, I don’t think that you just say, ‘Alright, we pass this and everything is solved,’” she said in a video conference with reporters. The bill represents what a group of lawmakers could “come together with and say, ‘This is a step in the right direction.’”
She said she believes more can be done to provide mental health services in this country.
The bill would toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers and keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders. It would also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.
Murkowski called the measure “a thoughtful and targeted approach to the specific problems that have led to several of these mass shootings and a reasoned and rational approach for how we address additional mental health and school safety resources.”
Mike Reynard, a spokesperson for Alaska’s other U.S. senator, Republican Dan Sullivan, said Sullivan would vote no on the bill.
Sullivan in a statement said one of his priorities in office has been to work with colleagues “on vitally needed solutions to address the mental health crisis, especially among young Americans, that is unfolding across our nation.” He said this is “where our focus should be, and this legislation represents a good start in that regard.”
But he said he has “serious concerns” about elements of the bill, including provisions that he said were vaguely defined.