The Senate has passed with bipartisan support a Bill to address gun violence, which marks a much awaited and the most significant firearms legislation in the United States in nearly three decades.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed by 65 to 33 votes in the Upper House on Thursday night with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support.
The bill is expected to pass in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives next, and will become law once President Joe Biden signs it.
Biden urged the House to “promptly vote on this bipartisan bill” and send it to his desk.
In a statement issued after the bipartisan breakthrough measure on one of the most contentious policy issues in the country, Biden said the legislation will help protect Americans. “Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it.”
“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and too many tragic shootings before – have demanded action. And tonight, we acted,” he said, referring to the venues of two dreaded mass shootings that took the lives of dozens last month.
The new legislation will strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. It also makes a historic investment in mental health and much-needed support services for students.
The bill makes significant changes to the process for buyers of assault weapons under 21 years of age. It also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, by blocking gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners.
Separately, on the same day the Senate passed the gun control bill, the Supreme Court quashed a New York law that required individuals who would like to carry a concealed firearm in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license.
Biden said he is deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
“This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” he said in a statement.
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