Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Rand Paul were among the majority of Republicans who voted against the first gun legislation passed in the Senate in more than two decades, despite the fact that 15 Republicans, including the leader of the minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, voted to approve it.

In all, 33 Republicans voted against the legislation despite Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina negotiating the legislation with Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota did not vote.

The legislation comes a month after a white supremacist allegedly opened fire killing 10 people and less than a month after a gunman opened fire killing 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School. In the days after the shooting, McConnell tasked Cornyn of Texas with negotiating the legislation, with Tillis joining later.

“I said all along that really the measure of whether or not we were successful is whether this bill will save lives. And I have every confidence that it will,” he told The Independent. “I mean, this is a difficult subject. And you know, people come from different states and different orientations and they have to do their own political math, but to me, the best policy is good policy.”

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama was among the Senators who opposed the legislation.

“Well, I’m a second amendment guy. I wish if we took care of mental health and privacy and put it on a five-year plan, maybe, but that’s not what happened,” he said. the independent.

Although his fellow Texan, Mr. Cornyn, was one of the main negotiators of the legislation, Mr. Cruz made a lengthy speech expressing his opposition to the legislation.

“When you disarm law-abiding citizens, what happens is law-abiding people disarm,” he said. “That is almost by definition if they are law-abiding citizens. But criminals don’t follow the law.”

Joining McConnell and the negotiators, Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Utah’s Romney, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey and Indiana’s Todd Young voted in favor.

“Happy with the result,” Romney said as he entered the Senate elevator.

Toomey, who along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia tried to pass the last major gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 failed, said he was pleased this would be part of his legacy when he retires in the end of the year.

“You know, my goal was always to require background checks on commercial sales,” he said. “This doesn’t exactly do what Joe Manchin and I set out to do some time ago, but it does expand background checks to some commercial sales categories. And I think that’s constructive. It has other elements that I think are constructive and most importantly.”

Before the vote, the National Rifle Association announced its opposition to the legislation.

“This is a gun control bill. That’s why the NRA opposes it. End of story,” he tweeted.

The legislation creates an enhanced review process for individuals under the age of 21 seeking to purchase a firearm to undergo an enhanced review of their juvenile and mental health records. It also establishes a program for states to adopt extreme risk protection order laws, also called “red flag laws,” that prevent people who may pose a risk to themselves or others from obtaining a gun.

Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana opposed the legislation, saying Indiana has already passed a red flag law and measures to make schools safer.

“So I think most of this probably could have been done by the states,” he said. “And we in Indiana especially had a Red Flag Law for probably 17 or 18 years.”

In addition, people who commit “bogus purchases,” in which someone who can pass a background check buys a gun for someone who can’t, could be fined, face up to 15 years in prison, or both. That could rise to 25 years if the weapon is used in an act of terrorism or drug trafficking.

The bill also closes the “boyfriend loophole,” which allowed people who committed domestic abuse against a romantic partner but did not live with, marry, or have a child with their partner, to obtain a firearm.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who was part of the bipartisan group of 20 Senators who worked on the legislation, said that while the legislation is a compromise, that makes it bittersweet. But he also said the tide has turned since he entered the Senate in 2010.

“I think the American people are rising up. As well as the faces of those Uvalde victims combined with the memories of all the other children,” she said. “The unspeakable fear of Americans to send their children to school every day, one of the worst parents, a father told me in Connecticut that his son told him, there has never been a day in the last year and she did not know he asked going to school, if that was the day his school would be attacked.”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, one of the Democrats most vulnerable to re-election, said the legislation was incredibly important since Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire at a country music concert, was one of the deadliest days in Las Vegas history.

“And yes, we are a state that is responsible gun ownership or secondary security,” he said. “We also passed universal background checks, we passed a red flag. This is another step forward, hopefully not just the last step, but another step forward in addressing gun violence.”

President Joe Biden, who helped write the last gun legislation passed by the Senate when he passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 while he was a senator, praised the passage.

“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Children in schools and communities will be safer because of it. The House of Representatives must immediately vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already indicated she would move quickly to pass the legislation.



Reference-www.independent.co.uk

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