The lead Democrat in the group of 20 senators who reached an agreement on proposed gun control legislation Monday, Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) speaks with reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference (Image courtesy of Bill Clark/Roll Call).

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 20 senators announced agreemenst Monday on potential gun control legislation.

Despite a 60-vote threshold for passage in the upper house of Congress, the proposal appears to have the necessary support for enactment with 10 Republicans on-board.

Although details for the agreement are still sketchy, independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin is all for it and challenged Sen. Mile Lee (R-UT) to support the measure.

“I’m proud to support the Senate’s bipartisan gun safety proposal,” McMullin said during a virtual press conference late Monday. “This is a common sense step forward to protect our children, our families and our rights.

“I especially appreciate Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney for his leadership on this issue. I’m calling on Utah’s other senator, Mike Lee, to do the right thing and join his colleague.”

Lee has yet to respond in public, either to the news of the Senate agreement or to McMullin’s challenge.

In a tweet, however, Lee said that he looks forward to reviewing the details of the proposed agreement.

I will always stand on the side of the 2nd Amendment, law-abiding Americans, due process and justice,” Lee emphasized.

Following recent incidents across the United States — including the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, TX – the time seems ripe for such gun control reforms despite the 2nd Amendment.

The U.S. House passed a tough gun control measure on June 8. The Protect Our Kids Act was passed on a mostly part-line vote, with five Republicans in favor and two Democrats against.

That legislation raises the age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon to 21 and bans the sale of large-capacity magazines.

The majority of Utah’s congressional delegation voted against the bill, saying it was clearly unconstitutional.

In the Senate, however, Romney welcomed that legislation and was among the bipartisan senators who joined to forge an agreement in the upper house of Congress.

The proposal reportedly includes heightened scrutiny for gun buyers under the age of 21; increased funding for school security; more funding for mental health treatment; and resources for states to implement red flag laws.

If enacted, the proposed agreement would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades, according to President Joe Biden, who thanked the 20 senators for their efforts.

“After years of gridlock and division,” McMullin said, “certain Democrats and Republicans are breaking with the extremes in their parties to get something done … Sen. Lee needs to break with partisan extremes to support this proposal.”

In a tweet, Romney said that he was proud to join his colleagues in what he considers “ …this commonsense, bipartisan proposal that will save lives while also protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

“Imagine a future where principled Republicans, Democrats and independents could consistently do this – find common ground and offer real solutions – to this issue, to inflation, to lowering healthcare costs and more,” McMullin said.

“That’s the kind of leadership we need and it’s why I’m running,” he added. “This, and more, is what’s possible if we stand up to the extremes and replace self-serving politicians like my opponent.”

If this proposal passes the Senate, it will likely be sent to a congressional conference committee to reconcile it with the Protect of Kids Act. But that would require another floor vote in both the House and Senate for final approval of whatever emerges from that reconciliation effort.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could also decide to just vote on the Senate legislation, accepting that half a loaf of gun control is better than none.

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