Washington – The Senate voted late Thursday 65 to 33 to pass the bipartisan gun control bill, the most important piece of legislation addressing firearms in nearly 30 years.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who led negotiations with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, said on the Senate floor Thursday that the legislation was “responding” to last month’s shooting inand at – which collectively left 31 dead, including 19 children – “in a positive and emphatic way.”
“I don’t believe in doing nothing in the face of what we saw in Ovaldi and we saw in many societies,” Cornyn said. “Doing nothing is a waiver of our responsibility as representatives of the American people here in the United States Senate.”
The bill will now be sent back to the House of Representatives, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledging to debate it quickly. Although minority leader Kevin McCarthy has been urging Republicans to vote against the bill, it is expected to pass in the Democratic-controlled House.
“First thing tomorrow morning, the Rules Committee will meet to introduce this life-saving legislation on Earth,” Pelosi said in a statement Thursday night.
Although the bill does not represent all of the gun control measures that President Biden has called for, he is expected to sign the bill.
In a statement issued after the vote, Biden called on the House of Representatives to “immediately vote this bipartisan bill and send it to my office.”
“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, members of Congress from both parties came together to answer the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” he said. “Families in Ovaldi and Buffalo – and so many tragic shootings before – demanded action. And tonight, we moved.”
The Republicans who voted for the bill were Senator Roy Blunt. Richard Burr Shelley Moore Capito Bill Cassidy Susan Collins John Cornyn Johnny Ernest Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell Lisa Murkowski Rob Portman Mitt Romney Tom Telles, Pat Tommy and Todd Young.
McConnell said the Senate’s approval of the legislation, as well asEarlier on Thursday, it scored two “historic victories”.
“I am proud of these two complementary victories that will make our country freer and safer at the same time,” the Senate Minority Leader said. “Law-abiding Americans will sleep tonight with much stronger Second Amendment rights than they were this morning, while logical new barriers around convicted criminals and mental illness are now on their way to becoming law.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer chirp He is “delighted that we are finally taking meaningful action on firearms for the first time in nearly 30 years to keep communities safe.”
Senate negotiatorsFrom the proposal earlier this month, the legislative text was unveiled Tuesday, after which the Supreme Council To submit the bill in a procedural bipartisan vote.
The legislation strengthens background checks for potential gun buyers under the age of 21, closes the so-called “friend loophole,” clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer and imposes criminal penalties for straw purchase and gun trafficking. It also provides $750 million in grants to incentivize states to implement crisis intervention programs and provides nearly billions of dollars in federal funding to strengthen mental health services for children and families and strengthen schools.
The Senate procedure does not go so farIt is much narrower than the billing package This month. This legislation would raise the minimum purchase age for a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 and ban large-capacity magazines. It also stimulates the safe storage of firearms and establishes requirements that regulate the storage of guns in apartment buildings.
While the House legislation included many of the proposals advocated by Biden, it would not have earned enough Republican support to cross the 60-vote threshold to advance in the Senate.
Democrats involved in bipartisan discussions in the upper chamber acknowledged that their proposal is more detailed, but said the watered-down package has a better chance of receiving GOP support.
The bill was opposed by the National Rifle Association, which said in a statement Tuesday that the proposals in the legislation could be “abused to restrict legal purchases of guns, violate the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures being embraced by politicians on state and local level.
House Republican leaders also said the Senate plan is part of an effort to undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. But McConnell, who voted for the bill, said on the Senate floor on Wednesday that the legislation offers “reasonable solutions without regressing the rights of law-abiding citizens.”