California Observer

US Gun Control Bill Clears First Hurdle in the Senate

Image Source: NY Times

The age-long debate over the passage of a gun control bill in the US took a new shape on Tuesday as the US Senate has made a first move toward approving what is being hailed as the most significant new gun control laws in a generation.

The bipartisan bill might become law next week as a result of senators’ vote to hasten its ratification. Despite being important, the suggestions fall well short of the demands made by many Democrats and activists in the wake of a string of horrific shootings. For purchasers under 21, the procedures include more stringent background checks.

In order to remove firearms from those deemed a threat, the measure requests funding to support state “red flag” laws. Federal cash totaling $15 billion (£12.2 billion) is also included in the act to improve school security. And it closes the alleged “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting the sale of firearms to people who have been found guilty of assaulting unmarried intimate partners.

For the first time in years, senators from the Republican and Democratic parties have expressed this much support for proposed gun safety measures.

A vote approved the procedural Senate vote on Tuesday evening of 64 to 34, less than two hours after the last draft was distributed. The fact that 14 Republicans voted to move the measure suggests it may have enough support to pass the Senate with no amendments. Before it can reach President Joe Biden, it must also clear the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

The senior Democrat in the negotiations, Senator Chris Murphy, predicted on the Senate floor that the package “will become the most significant piece of anti-gun violence legislation Congress will have approved in 30 years.”

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement: “This bipartisan legislation on gun safety is a step forward and will save lives. Although it does not quite meet our needs, this law is desperately needed.”

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of the Republican Party referred to the proposal as “a common-sense package” in a statement in which he pledged his support.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) criticized the gun control bill and claimed in a statement that it “does little to truly reduce violent crime” and “may be misused to prohibit lawful gun purchases.”

Earlier this month, President Biden stated that while the ideas were “steps in the right direction,” they were still insufficient.

Assault rifles, used in the mass killings in Texas and Buffalo, have been targeted for a ban or at least a change in the age at which they may be purchased. In addition, he has advocated for more extensive reforms.

The last important federal gun control law, which forbade the production of assault rifles and high-capacity ammo clips for civilian usage, was passed in 1994, but it was repealed ten years later.

Among the wealthiest nations of the globe, the US has the greatest rate of firearm deaths. But it’s also a nation where many people value their Second Amendment right to “keep and bear weapons” and their ability to own firearms.

Republicans have obstructed Democratic efforts in the past to tighten US gun control regulations.

After the Connecticut Sandy Hook school shooting in which 20 children and six adults died, efforts to reform US gun control laws failed to win enough support in Congress nearly ten years ago.

The Senate, or upper body of Congress, is currently divided, with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, and legislation needs 60 votes to pass to avoid the strategy known as the filibuster.

The framework for the new measures was developed by 20 senators, ten of whom are Republicans; thus, the ideas have the support necessary to advance.

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