US Senate Passes Arms Control Bill After Decades -By ASC

The act includes more background checks for buyers under the age of 21


U.S. senators introduced a bipartisan bill late Thursday to address the nation’s rocking outbreak of gun violence, approving a narrow package of new gun restrictions and billions of dollars in mental health and school safety funding.

The reforms – which will almost certainly be stamped with rubber by the House of Representatives on Friday – do not meet the demands of gun safety advocate and President Joe Biden, but have been hailed as a life -saving success after nearly 30 years of inaction by Congress.

The Bipartisan Safe Communities Act, supported by all 50 Democratic senators and 15 Republicans, includes enhanced background checks for shoppers under the age of 21, $ 11 billion funding for mental health and $ 2 billion for school safety programs.

It also provides funding to provide incentives for states to implement “red flag” laws to remove firearms from people deemed a threat.

And it closes the so -called “boyfriend” loophole, where domestic abusers can avoid a ban on buying firearms if they are not married or living with their victims.

“Tonight, the U.S. Senate is doing something that many believed was impossible even a few weeks ago: we passed the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” Senate Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer said after the legislation approved.

“The firearms safety bill we passed tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, common sense, life-saving.”

His Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell said the law would make America safer “without making our country less independent.”

“This is a sensible package. The provision is very, very popular. It contains zero new restrictions, zero new waiting periods, zero mandates and zero prohibitions in any form for law-abiding firearms owners.”

The National Rifle Association and many Republicans in both houses of Congress opposed the bill but it was ratified by advocacy groups working in policing, domestic violence and mental illness.

The Senate and House of Representatives are on recess for two weeks starting next week but the Democrat-controlled House is expected to pass the Senate bill with little drama before members leave town on Friday night.

‘Historic Day’

The success is the work of a group of cross-party senators who have been sorting out details and resolving disputes for weeks.

Lawmakers have been scrambling to complete negotiations quickly enough to capitalize on the momentum generated by the fatal shootings of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas and 10 blacks at a supermarket in Buffalo, upper New York, both last month.

Chris Murphy, the senator who led negotiations for Democrats, praised the “historic day.”

“This will be the most important part of the anti-gun violence law that has been passed by Congress in three decades,” he said on the Senate floor.

“This bill also has the opportunity to prove to the weary American public that democracy is not so corrupt, that it is capable of rising at the moment.”

The last significant federal firearms control law was passed in 1994, introducing a national background check system and banning the manufacture for public use of assault rifles and large-capacity ammunition clips.

But it expired a decade later and since then there has been no serious movement on reform, despite increasing gun violence.

Biden has been pushing for more reforms, including the reinstatement of the assault rifle ban-used in both Texas and New York shootings-and high-capacity magazines.

But the political challenge of enacting legislation in the 50-50 Senate, where most bills require 60 votes to pass, means that broader reforms are unrealistic.

“The morning after the tragedy in Uvalde, the U.S. Senate faced a choice,” Schumer added.

“We can give in to congestion … Or we can choose to try and forge a bipartisan path forward to pass an actual bill, as difficult as many may see.”

The vote came as a boon for gun safety activists hours after they were upset with a Supreme Court decision that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a gun in public.

The 6-3 decision repeals a century-old New York law that requires a person to prove they have a valid self-defense requirement to receive a permit to carry a concealed handgun outdoors.

(This story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)


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