Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Senators pass modest but historic bipartisan gun control bill

The Senate passed a low-key but historic bipartisan gun violence bill Thursday night that seemed unimaginable just a month ago, paving the way for a final passage in the House of what would be America’s response. Mass shootings in every corner of the United States.

The final vote was 65 in favor and 33 in opposition. Now it goes to the lower house where it is very likely that it will be approved because of the Democratic majority.

After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed efforts to curb guns, Democrats and some Republicans decided that congressional inaction was untenable after last month’s shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

There were weeks of talks behind closed doors, but a group of senators from both sides emerged with a commitment to stop the bloodshed that has shocked, but no longer surprising, the nation.

The 80-page bill comes 11 days after lawmakers agreed a framework for the plan and 29 years after Congress last enacted major firearms restrictions.

what is the law

The $13 billion measure will toughen background checks for young gun buyers, prevent more domestic violence offenders from having access to firearms, and help states implement early warning laws that make it easier for officers to own guns . Their access weapons to those considered dangerous.

It will also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.

The package, passed in the middle of the election year, fell short of the tough gun restrictions Democrats have demanded for years, including assault weapons used in the mass killings in Buffalo and Uvalde and high-capacity ammunition magazines. restrictions are included. ,

However, the deal allows leaders of both parties to declare victory and show voters that they know how to compromise and do government work, while leaving room for each side to attract its main supporters.

“It is not a panacea for all the ways that gun violence affects our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat whose party has banned access to firearms for decades. . The senator acknowledged that “this is a very late step” but “in the right direction.”

“The passage of this gun safety bill is really important and will save lives,” Schumer said.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The American people want their constitutional rights to be protected and their children safe in school.” He said he wanted “both at once, and that’s what the Senate bill would have accomplished.”

Voting in the lower house comes a month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde. A few days earlier, a white man was accused of being motivated by racial hatred after he killed 10 people while shopping at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood near downtown Buffalo.

Both shooters were 18 years old, a youth profile shared by many gunmen amid the new wave of shootings. The closeness of the two massacres provoked national protests demanding concrete action against armed violence.

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