Senate gun violence prevention bill approves major test vote set for passage this week
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, speaks with former Democratic U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords (L), during the opening of the Gun Violence Memorial on the National Mall on June 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. On January 8, 2011, the Giffords were shot at a political rally in Tucson, Arizona.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – Senate gun legislation on Thursday approved a crucial procedural vote that guarantees passage of a bipartisan bill designed to combat gun violence.
The vote was 65–34, with 15 Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joining the Democratic caucus unanimously in voting to push the package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the final vote could take place by Thursday afternoon.
Schumer spoke Thursday with key negotiators — sens Chris Murphy, D-Conn, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R.N.C. praised the efforts. – In compromising.
“I thank them. America thanks them,” he said. “We’ll keep going until we’re done.”
The vote begins up to 30 hours after the debate on the bill, before the Senate vote on final passage. If the bill passes, it will need to be voted on by the House before the President can sign it into law.
In a statement released during the vote, the White House said it “strongly supports” the measure. “This legislation will 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 gun traffickers,” the statement said.
The law would provide states with grants for red flag laws and crisis prevention programs. It would increase background checks for young Americans aged 18 to 21, opening the door to access to teen records. It will clarify which sellers need to register as firearms licensees, which will require them to conduct background checks on potential buyers. And it tightens the penalties for gun smuggling and straw purchases.
It also closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” by limiting gun rights to the dating partners of non-spouse who are convicted of domestic abuse.
“Unless someone is convicted of domestic abuse under their state laws, their gun rights will not be affected,” Cornyn said earlier this week. “Those who are convicted of non-spousal misdemeanor domestic abuse — not felony, but misdemeanor domestic violence — will have the opportunity to reinstate their Second Amendment rights after five years. But they have a clean Must be a record.”
The vote to proceed came nearly an hour after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution provides for the right to carry a gun outside the home.
The legislative package was prompted by two mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, that killed a total of 31 people, including 19 schoolchildren. The shooting was 10 days apart.