Bipartisan group of US Senators forge tougher gun control deal

A bipartisan group of US Senators say they have agreed on a framework for tougher gun control, indicating the potential for progress on a new firearms safety law.

The Senators, including 10 Republicans, announced the agreement on Sunday. The move comes after a shooting last month at an elementary school in Texas, where an 18-year-old man killed 19 students and two teachers.

The accord calls for tougher mental health and criminal background checks for gun buyers under age 21. It includes support for state laws that make it easier to take firearms away from people who are considered to be extremely dangerous. The plan also calls for funds to bolster school safety and mental health programs.

But the framework does not include a proposal for raising the minimum age to buy highly lethal, assault-style rifles.

The group plans to submit a bill in line with the agreement.

Congressional Republicans have blocked strict restrictions on gun purchases for years, citing the constitutional right of citizens to own a firearm.