The Senate easily passed a bipartisan gun violence bill Thursday that seemed unthinkable just a month ago, paving the way for Congress’s final passage of what will be lawmakers’ most far-reaching response in decades to the spate of brutal mass shootings in the nation.

After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed Democratic efforts to curb guns, Democrats and some Republicans decided that Congressional inaction was untenable after last month’s riots in New York Y Texas. It was weeks of closed-door talks, but a group of senators from both parties emerged with a compromise that embodies an incremental but impactful move to stem the bloodshed that has come to shock, but no longer surprise, the nation.

The $13 billion measure would toughen background checks for younger gun buyers, bar more domestic violence offenders from access to firearms, and help states implement red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take action. weapons of people considered dangerous. It would also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.

The election-year package fell far short of the tougher gun restrictions Democrats have sought for years, including bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the killings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. However, the deal allows leaders of both parties to declare victory and show voters that they know how to compromise and make government work, while leaving room for each side to attract its core supporters.

“This is not a panacea for all the ways gun violence affects our nation,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., whose party has made gun restrictions a goal during decades. “But it is a very backward step in the right direction. Passing this gun safety bill is really important and will save lives.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, in a nod to the Second Amendment right to bear arms that drives many conservative voters, said “the American people want their constitutional rights protected and their children are safe at school. He said “they want both, and that’s exactly what the Senate bill will have done.”

The day was bittersweet for advocates of reducing gun violence. Underlining the enduring potency of the conservative way out, the right-leaning The Supreme Court issued a decision expanding the right of Americans to bear arms in public. The justices struck down a New York law that requires people to prove a need to carry a gun before getting a license to do so.

The vote on the final passage was 65-33.

Hours earlier, senators voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative Republican senators. That was five more than the 60-vote threshold needed. The House planned to vote on the measure on Friday and approval seemed certain.

In that vote, 15 Senate Republicans joined 50 Democrats, including their two independent allies, in voting to advance the legislation.

However, that vote highlighted the risks Republicans face in challenging the party’s pro-gun voters and firearms groups like the National Rifle Association. Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two of 15 candidates for re-election this fall. Of the rest, four retire and eight do not face voters until 2026.

Tellingly, the Republican senators who voted “no” included potential 2024 presidential contenders like Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Some of the party’s most conservative members also voted “no,” including Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

While the Senate move was a clear step forward, the prospect of continued movement in Congress on gun restrictions is bleak.

Fewer than a third of the Senate’s 50 Republican senators backed the measure, and solid Republican opposition in the House is certain. Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from the No. 2 Republican leader, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who called the bill “an effort to slowly undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

Both chambers, now tightly controlled by Democrats, could well be run by the GOP after the November midterm elections.

In a statement, President Joe Biden said Uvalde residents told him when he visited that Washington had to act. “Our children in schools and our communities will be safer because of this legislation. I ask Congress to finish the job and bring this bill to my desk,” Biden said.

The Senate action came a month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde. Just days before that, a white man was accused of being racially motivated when he killed 10 black shoppers in Buffalo. Both shooters were 18 years old, a youthful profile shared by many mass shooters, and the proximity of the two massacres and victims with whom many could identify sparked a demand for action from voters, lawmakers from both parties said.

The talks were led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, RN.C. Murphy represented Newtown, Connecticut, when an assailant killed 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, while Cornyn has been involved in gun talks in the past after mass shootings in your state and is close to McConnell.

Murphy said the move would save thousands of lives and was an opportunity “to show a tired American public that democracy isn’t so broken that it’s not up to the task.”

“I don’t believe in doing anything about what we saw in Uvalde” and elsewhere, Cornyn said.

The bill would make local juvenile records for people ages 18 to 20 available during required federal background checks when trying to buy guns. Those exams, currently limited to three days, would last up to a maximum of 10 days to give federal and local officials time to search for records.

People convicted of domestic abuse who are current or former romantic partners of the victim would be barred from acquiring firearms, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

That prohibition currently only applies to people who are married to, live with, or have had children with the victim. The engagement bill would extend that to those deemed to have had “a continuing serious relationship.”

There would be money to help states enforce red flag laws and for other states without them for violence prevention programs. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have such laws.

The measure expands the use of background checks by rewriting the definition of federally licensed gun dealers who must conduct them. Penalties for gun trafficking are strengthened, billions of dollars are provided for behavioral health clinics and school mental health programs, and there is money for school safety initiatives, though not for staff to use a “dangerous weapon.”



Reference-www.fox6now.com

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