The Senate voted with bipartisan support to advance a gun safety bill following bipartisan agreement on its legislative text.
The Senate on Tuesday evening cast a procedural vote to speed up the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. It was passed by 64 to 34 votes in less than two hours after the final text was circulated following agreement between Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
Tuesday’s vote to advance the measure is a major step in ending a three decades long logjam on gun safety legislation. The Bill is now open for debate on the floor of the Upper House, and will clear the Senate if it will break a filibuster and gets majority in the final vote.
10 Republicans joined Democrats in support of the Bill Tuesday.
This legislation will strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. It also makes a historic investment in mental health and much-needed support services for students.
The bill makes significant changes to the process for buyers of assault weapons under 21 years of age. It also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, by blocking gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners.
“For decades, the anti-gun violence movement has been met with obstacles and frustrations, and yet they’ve been tireless in their pursuit of change. Their advocacy has made this moment possible,” said Sen. Chris Murphy.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who voted in support, said, “This bill provides for more mental health and security resources in our schools, improves background checks without infringing on second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, and helps ensure that people in romantic relationships, where there’s been a conviction of domestic violence, are not able to carry out violence”.
Additionally, it provides support for states that implement crisis intervention measures—including red flag laws with sufficient due process, he added.
Congressional efforts to draft strict laws aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of a series of mass shootings that shocked the country have been scuttled mainly due to differences of opinion between the Democratic and Republican lawmakers regarding the clauses in it.
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