Senate passes most sweeping gun bill in decades, setting up House vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday night time handed the most sweeping gun bill in a long time designed to prevent gun violence, a serious victory for advocates and a uncommon defeat for the National Rifle Association.

The vote was 65 to 33, with all 50 Democratic members and 15 Republicans, together with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voting to ship the bill to the House.

“The United States Senate is doing something many believe was impossible even a few weeks ago. We are passing the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., mentioned instantly earlier than the vote. “The gun safety bill we are passing tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, common sense, life saving.”

The measure provides grants to states for pink flag legal guidelines and disaster prevention applications. It enhances background checks for younger Americans aged 18 to 21, opening the door to accessing juvenile information. It additionally seeks to shut the boyfriend loophole by preserving weapons away from non-spouse relationship companions convicted of abuse, with caveats to revive their entry beneath sure circumstances.

Additionally, the laws clarifies which sellers are required to register as firearm licensees, which might require them to conduct background checks on potential patrons. And it toughens penalties for gun trafficking.

The bipartisan bill now goes to the House, the place Speaker Nancy Pelosi has vowed that she “will swiftly bring it to the Floor so that we can send it to President Biden’s desk.”

“Shooting after shooting, murder after murder, suicide after suicide — for 30 years, Congress stood in its political corners and did nothing. But not this time,” mentioned Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “This will become the most significant piece of anti-gun-violence legislation Congress has passed in three decades.”

Murphy negotiated the modest assortment of insurance policies with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

“I’m encouraged about how much common ground we were able to find,” Cornyn mentioned. “People who’ve suffered unthinkable losses in some of these mass shootings incidents. But I want to tell them that their advocacy has turned their pain into something positive.”

The bill confronted opposition from the NRA, which argued that it “falls short at every level.”

“It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners,” the group mentioned in an announcement.

In latest days, quite a few GOP supporters of the bill sought to debunk right-wing claims that the laws would curtail Second Amendment rights, vowing it will protect gun rights for law-abiding Americans and solely go after criminals.

“If you’re pro-Second Amendment, you should be for this bill,” mentioned Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

The vote got here on the identical day the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution offers a proper to carry a gun outdoors the house, delivering a serious win for the NRA.

President Joe Biden, who as a senator helped craft gun legal guidelines in the Nineties, mentioned he is wanting ahead to signing the measure into legislation.

“I am glad to see Congress has moved significantly closer to finally doing something — passing bipartisan legislation that will help protect Americans,” he mentioned in an announcement after the bill cleared a key check vote earlier on Thursday. “Our kids in schools and our communities will be safer because of this legislation. I call on Congress to finish the job and get this bill to my desk.”

In a separate assertion, the White House mentioned the laws “would be one of the most significant steps Congress has taken to reduce gun violence in decades, giving our law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to prosecute gun traffickers.”

Cornyn emphasised the limitation of the boyfriend loophole coverage.

“Unless someone is convicted of domestic abuse under their state laws, their gun rights will not be impacted,” he mentioned earlier this week. “Those who are convicted of non-spousal misdemeanor domestic abuse — not felony, but misdemeanor domestic violence — will have an opportunity after five years to have their Second Amendment rights restored. But they have to have a clean record.”

The negotiations on the legislative package deal was prompted by two mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that killed a mixed 31 individuals, together with 19 faculty kids. The shootings have been 10 days aside, and there have been extra mass shootings since.

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