Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed concern about the recent deal announced by a bipartisan group of Senators to combat gun violence. Ms Ocasio-Cortez spoke to reporters before votes Monday evening and said she was specifically concerned with what she said was “juvenile criminalisation.”
On Sunday, a bipartisan group of 20 Senators led by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas announced a framework for legislation to combat gun violence.
Though there is yet to be legislative text, part of the framework includes an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records for potential gun buyers younger than 21, including a check on state databases and local law enforcement.
“I want to explore the implications of that and how specifically it’s designed and tailored”, she told The Independent. Ms Ocasio-Cortez added that police presence increased at schools after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
“And while it didn’t prevent many of the mass shootings that we’ve seen now, it has increased the criminalization of teens in communities like mine.”
In addition, Ms Ocasio-Cortez also expressed concern about the increased focus on mental health in the legislation.
“Because what people are blaming on mental health are really deeper issues of violent misogyny and white supremacy”, she said.
At the same time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said that she was optimistic that the framework closes the “boyfriend loophole.” As of right now, domestic abusers cannot pass a federal background check if they are married, live with, or have a child with their partner. But if they do not, they can still pass a background check.