Correction: Sen. Murkowski was not one of 10 Republicans to announce support for new gun control measures. Murkowski said the group’s announcement was an encouraging step, but she has not yet given it her backing.

On June 14, Sen. Lisa Murkowski signaled that she may be open enacting gun control measures, after a group of 10 Republicans joined nine Democrats and one independent in announcing proposed restrictions on firearm buyers, owners and sellers.

The measures, announced on June 12 and still in draft form, proport to incentivize states to pass red flag laws, fund mental health and school safety programs, increase background check protocols for those under age 21, make it more difficult for someone to purchase a gun for another person and allocate crisis intervention resources, among other issues.

While still under construction the legislative package has already drawn support from many Democrats who have long wanted to impose new gun restrictions across the country. It doesn’t contain every gun control measure that Democrats want, but President Joe Biden said on Sunday that it would be “the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades.”

If Democrats can peel off at least 10 Republicans to support the legislation it would be filibuster proof.

Earlier this month, Murkowski told shooting survivor and gun-control activist David Hogg that Congress “owes some steps” regarding gun violence as senators negotiate a bipartisan deal. On June 16, Murkowski’s Communications Director Karina Borger told the Watchman that Murkowski called the group’s announcement on a framework agreement “an encouraging step and that she will view the details of its final form, once legislative text is finalized, but has not given her support.”

These laws have been criticized as unconstitutional because they impower judges to ignore due process laws and violate the rights of citizens who have committed no crimes.

Kelly Tshibaka, who is running against Murkowski this year, blasted the proposal as an attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

“It’s bad enough that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has blessed the negotiations with Democrats over which constitutional rights they can legislate away, but now our senior U.S. senator from Alaska is telling anti-gun activists that she’s open to their demands,” Tshibaka said in a June 12 statement. “Lawful ownership of firearms under the 2nd Amendment is central to our identity as Alaskans, as we use it to provide food for our families and for self-defense. We must address the root causes of violent attacks, such as mental health, rather than blaming inanimate objects. This can’t be understated: Leftists are coming for our guns and after more than 20 years in the Senate, Lisa Murkowski has pledged to help them.”

The plan aims to enact an “enhanced review process” for gun buyers under age 21, while also mandating reviews of a juvenile’s mental health records, including cross references with state databases, before they can purchase a gun.

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the legislation is the inclusion of a “red flag” framework, which lets states enact and enforce laws aimed at keeping firearms away from those who have never committed a crime but are nonetheless deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

These laws have been criticized as unconstitutional because they impower judges to ignore due process laws and violate the rights of citizens who have committed no crimes.

The Republicans who support the proposal include Senators Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), Susan Collins (Maine), Roy Blunt (MO), Thom Tillis (NC), Bill Cassidy (LA), John Cornyn (TX), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (SC).

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Murkowski blasted for suggesting U.S. needs new gun control restrictions

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.