Congress Passes Gun Bill, Sends Joe Biden to Sign

Gun-rights advocates hold signs in front of gun-rights advocates during a gun violence victims’ rally in front of the Supreme Court as arguments begin in a major case about gun rights on November 3, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Joshua Roberts | beautiful pictures

Scrambling to respond to the recent spate of bloody gun massacres, US lawmakers passed the most significant federal restrictions in decades on Friday, after years of false starts. mistakes and failure to tighten gun laws.

Following Senate passage late on Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill taking steps to limit gun access to the youngest buyers, domestic violence offenders and others may pose a risk to their communities. The bipartisan Safer Communities Act would also fund school mental health and safety programs.

The House of Representatives approved it by a margin of 234-193, as 14 Republicans joined all Democrats. The bill belongs to President Joe Biden, who is expected to quickly sign it into law.

Democrats hope the law will further curb gun violence after lone gunmen massacred Black shoppers at a Buffalo grocery store and children at a Texas elementary school last month. Victory for gun safety advocates this week also comes with a setback, like The Supreme Court has overturned a New York law limited the ability to carry concealed weapons. The ruling imposes similar laws across the country.

Democrats nonetheless welcomed the passage of the legislation as a landmark event after they won support from Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the party Kentucky Republicans have long worked to limit gun ownership after previous mass shootings rocked the country.

“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress have come together to heed the calls of families across the country and pass legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities. our community,” Biden said in a statement Thursday night after the Senate passed the bill. “Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and so many tragic shootings before – have demanded action. And tonight, we took action.”

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The bill passed Friday would increase background checks for gun buyers aged 18 to 21. Easy access to firearms by young people is increasingly under scrutiny after an 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle carried out both mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. Democrats hope to ban those weapons from people under the age of 21.

The law also aims to close the so-called boyfriend loophole and restrict gun ownership to domestic violence offenders who are not married to their partner. It would also set up grants to states to encourage red flag laws, allowing police or relatives and acquaintances to ask a court to order a disarming of a gun if an individual is deemed dangerous.

It will also fund youth mental health and school safety programs. Republican gun rights advocates have argued that those issues, rather than the prevalence of guns, have fueled the US gun violence pandemic. Democrats have also long lamented the underfunding of mental health programs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at a rally with gun violence prevention organizations, gun violence survivors and hundreds of gun safety advocates demanding the use of legislation. gun, toppling the US Capitol in Washington, June 8, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who led the passage of a more sweeping gun bill this month, acted quickly to pass the legislation despite her concerns about the scope of the legislation. it.

“Every day, gun violence takes lives and scarred communities – and this crisis calls for urgent action,” she said in a statement on Thursday. “While we must do more, the bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a step forward that will help protect our children and save lives.”

The original proposal would ban assault-style rifles for people under the age of 21 and ban some high-volume magazines, among other steps. It had little chance of getting through the Senate, where Democrats had to win more than 10 Republicans to get the 60 votes needed to break the legislative disagreement, and eventually shrunk. .

The talk by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. And John Cornyn, R-Texas, led the way, eventually leading to a breakthrough. Murphy, who represented Newtown, Conn., in the United States House of Representatives in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, has long pushed for new gun restrictions.

Fifteen Republicans including McConnell voted for the bill in the Senate. Republican Senate leaders on Thursday framed the legislation as a middle ground between protecting schools and ensuring gun ownership.

“Previous legislation would make our communities and schools safer without putting a finger on the Second Amendment for law-abiding citizens,” he said. Its very popular with the American people”.

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