Both of North Carolina's Republican U.S. senators have indicated support for a bipartisan measure to curb gun violence and boost school safety and mental health programs.

In all, ten GOP senators signed a bipartisan statement released by Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy. 

The list includes North Carolina senators Thom Tillis, who worked with Murphy and others to produce the agreement, and his fellow Republican Richard Burr, who is leaving the Senate after the November election.

Becky Ceartas, executive director of the nonprofit North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, says the measure is a good balance of increasing mental health support and addressing easy access to guns. 

“Finally after decades of federal inaction while hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by firearms we have real hope of passing gun violence prevention legislation," says Ceartas. "Of course, there is definitely more work to do but this is still very good news and something that we must pass.”

Ceartas praised the measure's support for red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders. The provision is designed to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who a court has determined are a threat to themselves or others.

The proposal falls short on tougher measures many Democrats wanted, including a ban on assault style weapons or raising the age to purchase one.

Still, the compromise measure is the first major piece of federal firearms restrictions legislation since a 1994 assault weapons ban, which expired ten years later.

Editor's note: This story was updated for clarity in its description of Ceartas' praise of the measure.

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