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WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate is set to vote on Thursday to promote a bipartisan gun control bill that supporters hope will help curb the mass shootings that have rocked the country, in what could be Congress’s first new gun limit. in decades.
The 80-page bipartisan Safer Communities Act would encourage states to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous and strengthen background checks for would-be gun buyers convicted of domestic violence or major felonies when they were minors. .
It does not include a more radical gun control measure favored by Democrats, including President Joe Biden, such as a ban on assault rifles or high-capacity magazines. Biden renewed calls for action after a pair of high-profile shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
The legislation will need the support of 60 of the 100 lawmakers in the Senate to clear Thursday’s procedural hurdle. With the House split 50-50, he will need the support of at least 10 Republicans to advance. Democrats were upbeat after 14 Republicans supported an initial step on Tuesday. read more
“Sixty-four members came together … to move forward, an unmistakable sign of the broad support and momentum behind this bill,” Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech Wednesday.
If Thursday’s vote is successful, the bill would go to a vote for approval expected no later than Friday.
Republicans backing the bill insist it does not erode the rights of law-abiding gun owners and are among its most ardent supporters.
“It doesn’t even touch the rights of the overwhelming majority of American gun owners, who are law-abiding, sane citizens,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who backs the legislation.
But Republican supporters have faced criticism over the legislation, which is opposed by the National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobby.
The bill provides funds to help states adopt “red flag” laws to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are considered a danger to themselves or others. It would also fund alternative intervention measures in the state where red flag laws are opposed and provide increased school safety.
Closes “Boyfriend Loophole” by Denying Gun Purchases to Those Convicted of Abusing Intimate Dating Partners, and Allows States to Add Juvenile Mental Health and Criminal Records to National Background Check Databases .
Sen. John Cornyn, the bill’s lead Republican negotiator, was booed last week while discussing its contents during a speech to a GOP convention in his home state of Texas.
Sen. Richard Durbin, the No. 2 House Democrat, said the bill would provide $4.5 billion in funding for the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. A Republican aide estimated the total price tag of the measure at $15 billion.
Reporting by David Morgan, additional reporting by Moira Warburton and Richard Cowan; Edited by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell
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