Washington (AP) – Bipartisan Gun Violence Act What seemed unimaginable a month ago is about to win final congressional approval, a vote that will provide lawmakers with the most comprehensive answer in decades to the brutal mass shootings that have shocked Americans but not Don’t surprise Americans.
The House is scheduled to vote Friday on the $13 billion package, just a month after a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uwald, Texas. It comes just days after a racistly motivated white man allegedly killed 10 black grocery shoppers in Buffalo, New York.
The two massacres — days apart and hurting helpless people with immediate public sympathy — prompted both parties to conclude that Congress must act, especially in an election year. After weeks of closed-door talks, Senate negotiators from both parties have reached a compromise, taking modest but influential steps to reduce the likelihood of such chaos.
“The families of Uwald and Buffalo, and so many tragic shootings that have preceded them, demanded action. Tonight, we acted,” President Joe Biden said after his passage. He said the House should send it to him quickly, adding: “As a result, children in schools and communities will be safer.”
The legislation would strengthen background checks on the youngest gun buyers, prevent more domestic violence offenders from using firearms, and help states enact red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people judged to be dangerous. It will also fund local school safety, mental health and violence prevention programs.
The Senate passed the measure on Thursday by a vote of 65 to 33. Fifteen Republicans — a high number for a party that has been undermining gun restrictions for years — joined all 50 Democrats, including their two independent allies, to approve the bill.
Still, that means less than a third of Republican senators support the measure. The fate of future congressional action on guns appears in doubt as Republicans in the House of Representatives are expected to staunchly oppose it, even though Republicans are expected to win control of the House and Senate in November’s elections.
House Republicans urged Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 Republican leader, to vote against in an email. He called the bill “an effort to slowly diminish the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
While the bill is noteworthy in contrast to years of gridlock in Washington, it falls far short of the tighter gun restrictions Democrats have sought and Republicans have thwarted for years. These include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition depots in the killings in Buffalo and Uwald.
The deal, however, allows Senate leaders from both parties to declare victory and prove to voters that they know how to compromise and make government work, while also leaving room for both parties to attract their core supporters.
“It’s not a panacea for all the ways gun violence affects our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., whose party has for decades promoted gun violence Limit as a goal. “But this is a long overdue step in the right direction.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky endorsed the Second Amendment giving many conservative voters the right to bear guns, saying: “The American people want their constitutional rights protected, their children Safe at school.”
It was a mixed day for advocates of reducing gun violence.Emphasizing the lasting efficacy of conservative cIout, right-leaning Supreme Court issues decision to expand Americans’ right to bear arms in public Repeal New York law requiring people to prove the need to carry a weapon before getting a permit.
Hours before its final passage, the Senate voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative Republican senators aimed at killing the legislation. This is five above the required threshold of 60 votes.
The Senate vote, however, underscored the vigilance of most Republicans for disdain for the party’s pro-gun voters and gun groups like the NRA. Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana are the only two of 15 people running for re-election this fall. The remaining four are retiring, and eight will not face voters until 2026.
Notably, Republican senators who voted “No” included potential 2024 presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tim Scott of South Carolina . Instead of taking serious steps to protect our children, Cruz said the legislation would “disarm law-abiding citizens.”
The talks that produced the bill were led by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Tex., and Thom Tillis, a registered nurse.Murphy represents Newtown, Connecticut, where an attacker killed 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and Cornyn was involved in past gun negotiations mass shootings in his state And close to McConnell.
The bill would provide local teen records of 18- to 20-year-olds trying to buy firearms during required federal background checks. The inspections are currently limited to three days and will last up to 10 days to give federal and local officials time to search the records.
Convicted domestic abusers who are the victim’s current or ex-lover will be barred from obtaining guns, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole”.
The ban currently only applies to people who are married to, cohabiting with, or have children with the victim.
There will be funding to help states enforce red flag laws, as well as funding for violence prevention programs in other states that don’t have those laws. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have such laws.
The measure expands the use of background checks by rewriting the definition of federally licensed gun dealers required to conduct background checks. Penalties for gun trafficking have been tightened, billions of dollars have been provided for behavioral health clinics and school mental health programs, and school safety initiatives have been funded, but personnel using “dangerous weapons” have not.