The bipartisan compromise gun safety plan was approved by the House, and it will now be sent to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the final vote, legislators applauded. The result was 234-193. In response to recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, lawmakers introduced legislation that would increase background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21, encourage states to enact “red flag” laws, and strengthen a federal law that prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. Additionally, subsidies for mental health and school safety are provided by the legislation.
However, the bill stops short of outright banning the sale of assault weapons to anybody under the age of 18. Republican leaders in the House even lobbied their members to vote against the compromise legislation, which was a reflection of how intrusive the party was on the subject.
By a vote of 65-33, the Senate approved the measure late on Thursday. Given that no meaningful federal gun regulation had been achieved in nearly 30 years, congressional leaders hailed the legislation as a victory.
In a rare instance, senators from both parties responded to a spate of mass shootings with legislation on Thursday when the Senate enacted a compromise gun safety package by a vote of 65-33.
However, the bill is still short of the demands of many gun control activists, who want to outlaw assault weapons and limit the purchase of firearms to people under the age of 21.
According to recent polls, these plans are widely supported by the public; yet, as a bipartisan group of senators worked out a compromise, they were dead on arrival.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act would increase background checks for those between the ages of 18 and 21, provide incentives for states to enact “red flag” laws, and broaden a federal rule that prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. Additionally, subsidies for mental health and school safety are provided by the legislation.
The legislation will now be sent to the House, where a vote is anticipated on Friday. Joe Biden, the president, has said he will sign it.
Soon after the mass massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which a gunman killed 19 elementary school pupils and two teachers, the senators, led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX), began holding discussions. After turning 18, the shooter was allowed to buy two assault rifles lawfully.
Ironically, the Act was approved on the same day that the Supreme Court, by a vote of 6-3, increased gun owners’ freedom to carry concealed guns outside of the home. A century-old New York rule that required applicants for concealed carry permits to demonstrate that they had a “proper cause,” or unique reason, for doing so, was overturned by the court.
The National Rifle Association and other proponents of gun rights opposed the Senate bill even though it was the first meaningful federal gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years.
While acknowledging that the bill “is not a cure-all for all the ways gun violence affects our nation,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) claimed that it is “a long-overdue move in the right direction” and that it is “going to save lives.”
“Families in Uvalde and Buffalo — and too many sad incidents before — have demanded action,” the president Joe Biden said in a statement. We also took action tonight. He claimed that the law “would contribute in protecting Americans. Because of it, children in schools and communities will be safer.
I’m drained,” Murphy, who delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor following the Uvalde killing, posted on Twitter. And appreciative.
Given the lack of action taken in the wake of so many other mass shootings in the past, there was a great deal of skepticism after his call for legislation that Congress would take any action to combat gun violence. The prospect of a filibuster prevented the Senate from moving forward with gun reform after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Murphy, however, was a driving force behind Senate negotiations, and advocates for gun control pushed Congress to act. Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey spoke at the White House and visited Capitol Hill about the need for legislation, however, this bill again falls short of ideas that he had supported.
In 1994, a prohibition on assault weapons became the last significant piece of legislation to pass the Senate. However, a decade later, that restriction was allowed to lapse, and assault rifles like the AR-15 have seen an increase in sales. Over the past ten years, the AR-15 has been utilized in numerous horrific shootings.