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Senate passes most sweeping gun bill in decades, setting House vote


WASHINGTON — The Senate passed Thursday night the most sweeping gun bill designed to prevent gun violence in decades, a major victory for advocates and a rare defeat for the National Rifle Association.

The vote was 65 to 33, with all 50 Democratic voting members and 15 Republicans, including Kentucky Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voting to send the bill to the House. for a vote expected on Friday.

“The United States Senate is doing something many thought impossible just a few weeks ago. We are passing the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said just before the vote. “The gun safety bill we pass tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, common sense, life-saving.”

The measure would offer grants to states for “red flag” laws and crisis prevention programs. This would improve background checks for people between the ages of 18 and 21, opening the door to accessing records of minors. It also seeks to close the “boyfriend loophole” by keeping guns away from non-spousal dating partners convicted of abuse, with caveats. to restore their access in certain circumstances.

In addition, the legislation would specify which sellers are required to register as firearms license holders, which would require them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. And it would toughen the penalties for arms trafficking.

The bipartisan package now goes to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, promised in a statement Thursday that she would put the “vital legislation” to a floor vote on Friday and “send the bill to President Biden ” for his signature.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said: “Shot after shot, murder after murder, suicide after suicide – for 30 years Congress has stood in its political corners and done nothing. But not this This will become the most significant anti-gun violence legislation Congress has passed in three decades.”

Murphy negotiated the modest collection of policies with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, and Thom Tillis, RN.C.

“I’m encouraged by the common ground we’ve been able to find,” Cornyn said. “People who have suffered unimaginable losses in some of these mass shooting incidents. But I want to tell them that their advocacy has turned their pain into something positive.”

The NRA opposed the bill, arguing that it “falls short on every level”.

“It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary charges about the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners,” the official said. group in a press release.

In recent days, many GOP supporters have sought to debunk right-wing claims that the legislation would curtail Second Amendment rights, vowing that it would preserve gun rights for law-abiding Americans and would not only attack criminals.

“If you’re pro-Second Amendment, you should be for this bill,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

The Senate voted the same day the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution provides for the right to carry a gun outside the home, delivering a major victory for the NRA.

President Joe Biden, who as a senator helped craft gun laws in the 1990s, said he was eager to sign the measure.

“I’m glad to see that Congress has come one step closer to finally doing something — passing bipartisan legislation that will help protect Americans,” he said in a statement after the proposed lawsuit. law authorized a key test vote earlier on Thursday. “Our children in schools and our communities will be safer because of this legislation. I call on Congress to finish the job and bring this bill to my desk.”

In a separate statement, the White House said the legislation “would be one of the most important steps Congress has taken to reduce gun violence in decades, giving our law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to prosecute arms traffickers”.

Cornyn pointed to the limitation of the get-out policy to boyfriends.

“Unless a person is convicted of domestic violence under the laws of their state, their gun rights will not be affected,” he said this week. “Those who are convicted of domestic violence for a non-spousal misdemeanor — not a felony, but a domestic violence misdemeanor — will have the opportunity, after five years, to have their Second Amendment rights reinstated. But they must have a clean criminal record.

The negotiations were sparked by mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, which killed a total of 31 people, including 19 schoolchildren. The shootings were 10 days apart, and there have been other mass shootings since then.

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