Senate passes bipartisan gun control legislation in 65-33 vote

Washington— On Thursday evening, the Senate voted 65 to 33 to pass the bipartisan gun control bill, the most significant gun legislation in nearly 30 years.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who led the negotiations with Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, told the Senate on Thursday that the legislation “responds” to last month’s shooting during a grocery store in Buffalo, New Yorkand to one elementary school in Uvalde, Texas – which left a total of 31 dead, including 19 children – in a “positive and affirmative” way.

“I don’t believe in doing anything about what we’ve seen in Uvalde and what we’ve seen in far too many communities,” Cornyn said. “To do nothing is an abdication of our responsibility as representatives of the American people here in the United States Senate.”

The bill will now head back to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to take it up quickly. Although Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has urged Republicans to vote against the bill, it is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House.

“First thing in the morning tomorrow morning, the rules committee will meet to move this vital legislation forward,” Pelosi said in a statement late Thursday.

Although the bill does not represent all the gun control measures that President Biden had called for, he is expected to sign the bill.

Congressional pistols
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, arrives to meet with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, arrive for more bipartisan discussions on how to curb gun violence, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

In a statement released after the vote, Mr. Biden called on the House to “vote quickly on this bipartisan bill and send it to my office.”

“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to answer the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” did he declare. “The families of Uvalde and Buffalo – and too many tragic shootings before – demanded action. And tonight we acted.”

Republicans who voted for the bill are Sens. Roy Blunt; Richard Burer; Shelley MooreCapito; Bill Cassidy; Susan Collins; John Corny; Joni Ernst; Lindsey Graham; Mitch McConnell; Lisa Murkowski; Rob Portman; Mitt Romney; Thom Tillis; Pat Toomey; And Todd Young.

McConnell said that the passage of the bill by the Senate, as well as the Supreme Court strikes down New York gun law earlier Thursday, made for “two landmark wins.”

“I am proud of these two complementary victories which will make our country both freer and safer,” said the Senate Minority Leader. “Law-abiding Americans will go to bed tonight with significantly stronger Second Amendment rights than they had this morning, as new common-sense barriers around convicted felons and mental illness roll in. to become law.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that he is “pleased that we are finally taking meaningful action against guns for the first time in nearly 30 years to keep communities safe.”

Senate Negotiators published a framework of the proposal earlier this month, and unveiled the legislative text on Tuesday, after which the upper house take the first step advance the bill in a bipartisan procedural vote.

The legislation improves background checks on potential firearm buyers under 21, closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole”, clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer and creates criminal penalties for the purchase of straw and arms trafficking. It also provides $750 million in grants to encourage states to implement crisis intervention programs and provides approximately billions of dollars in federal funding to strengthen mental health services for children and families and strengthen schools.

The Senate measure does not go as far as Mr. Biden has called for and is much narrower than a bundle of bills which passed the house this month. This legislation would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 and ban large capacity magazines. It also encourages the safe storage of firearms and establishes requirements governing the storage of firearms in residential premises.

Although the House legislation includes many of the proposals advocated by Mr. Biden, it would not have garnered enough support from Republicans to pass the 60-vote threshold for the legislation to advance in the Senate.

Democrats involved in bipartisan upper house talks acknowledged their proposal was more fit, but said a slimmed-down package was more likely to receive GOP support.

The bill is opposed by the National Rifle Association, which said in a statement Tuesday that proposals advanced in the legislation can be “abused to restrict lawful gun purchases, violate the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund firearms”. control measures adopted by state and local politicians”.

House Republican leaders also said the Senate plan was part of an effort to erode the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. But McConnell, who voted for the bill, told the Senate on Wednesday that the bill offers “common sense solutions without rolling back the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

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