Senate advances sweeping gun control bill
With the support of over a dozen Republicans, the wide-ranging US legislation was cleared for a procedural vote
US Senators from both parties have introduced a landmark gun control bill. This will be up for floor vote in upper chamber. The law, if passed, would be the most important legislation in years. It will expand background checks on firearm buyers and impose a number of restrictions.
The ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ passed a procedural vote by 64-34 on Tuesday night, with 14 GOP senators joining all 50 Democrats to back the motion. The 80-page bill calls to strengthen background checks to allow authorities up to 10 days to review juvenile and mental health records for gun-buyers under the age of 21, and would devote millions of dollars to encourage states to implement ‘red flag laws,’ which permit the government to confiscate firearms from those deemed dangerous.
Among other provisions, the law would also close the so-called ‘boyfriend loophole,’ meaning domestic abusers will be prohibited from purchasing guns, even if the perpetrator is not married to their victim. Gun control advocates have long condemned the fact that federal law was previously limited to married couples.
Despite some remaining opposition from Republicans, the GOP’s top senator, Mitch McConnell, has backed the legislation, saying: “Our colleagues have put together a common-sense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that the bill will be approved by the upper chamber with a complete vote before the end of this week.
The House of Representatives passed its own gun control package this month, which goes further than the Senate’s version, calling to raise the purchasing age for certain rifles from 18 to 21, also urging an outright ban on high-capacity magazines.
Numerous GOP legislators and Second Amendment supporters such as National Rifle Association have condemned new gun control measures. However, the NRA maintains that they are legal. “committed to real solutions to help stop violence in our communities,”However, I pledge to resist any such effort “override constitutional due process protections”Also available: “efforts to deprive law-abiding citizens of their fundamental right to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
This legislative effort follows two high-profile mass shootings that occurred in the past few months. One gunman shot and killed 20 children and 2 teachers in a Texas elementary school on May 24. Ten days before, the massacre of a Buffalo supermarket left 10 dead.