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Senate Passes Bipartisan Gun Safety Bill, 65-33

The Senate passed the bipartisan gun safety bill late on Thursday in a 65-33 vote in response to the tragic mass shootings last month in New York and Texas, marking the most substantial gun control legislation in nearly 30 years.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) headed negotiations in the bipartisan group comprised of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans in a successful effort to garner at least 10 Republican votes to reach the 60-vote threshold to avoid the filibuster in the evenly split Senate.

“I don’t believe in doing nothing in the face of what we saw in Uvalde and we’ve seen in far too many communities,” Cornyn said. “Doing nothing is an abdication of our responsibility as representatives of the American people here in the United States Senate.”

The bill strengthens background checks for gun buyers who are between the ages of 18 and 21, closes the “boyfriend loophole” which will block those who committed domestic abuse from purchasing a gun for five years, creates penalties for straw purchases and gun trafficking and provides funding to incentivize states to enact crisis intervention programs, bolster school safety and create more robust mental health services.

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The bipartisan group announced the framework early last week with the intention of writing it into legal writing and voting on it before Congress’ two-week Fourth of July recess. The bill will now head to the House for a vote before landing on President Joe Biden‘s desk who is expected to sign off on it despite it not having all the measures he wanted.

“Our kids and our nation will be safer because of this legislation,” he wrote. “The House of Representatives should promptly vote and send it to my desk.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Califonia) announced that the House would “swiftly bring it to the Floor,” in a statement.

Rose Carter

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