Senate OKs Landmark Gun Violence Bill, House Passes It – New York Greeley Tribune

The Senate on Thursday easily approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable a month ago, setting up final approval of Congress’s most far-reaching response in decades to the country’s brutal mass shootings.

After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed Democratic efforts to curb firearms, Democrats and 15 Republicans decided congressional inaction was untenable after last month’s stampedes in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. Closed-door talks took weeks, but a bargainer on both sides emerged with an agreement that included an incremental but impressive movement to stop the bloodshed that has regularly come under shock – yet no longer a surprise. – Nation.

The $13 billion measure will toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms out of more domestic violence perpetrators and help states enact red flag laws that make it easier for officers to take weapons from dangerous people. It will also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.

The election-year package fell far short of the more robust gun restrictions Democrats have demanded and Republicans have failed over years, including a ban on assault-type weapons and the high levels used in the killings in Buffalo and Uvalde. Capacity ammunition magazines are included. Yet the agreement allowed leaders of both parties to declare victory and demonstrate to voters that they knew how to compromise and do government work, while also leaving room for each side to appeal to its original supporters.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.), whose party has made gun restrictions a target for decades, said, “It’s not a cure-all way gun violence affects our country.” “But it is a long overdue step in the right direction.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the right to bear arms for the Second Amendment that inspired many conservative voters, said, “The American people want their constitutional rights protected and their children safe in school. ” “They want both of those things at once, and that’s the bill that’ll be in front of the Senate,” he said.

The day proved bitter for advocates to reduce gun violence. Underscoring the enduring power of the conservative cIout, the right-leaning Supreme Court issued a ruling expanding the right of Americans to carry arms in public by nullifying a New York law requiring people to be licensed before There was a need to prove the need to carry a weapon. Do this

McConnell hailed Justice’s decision and the Senate’s passage of the gun bill, calling it a “complementary victory that will make our country free and secure at the same time.”

The Senate vote at final passage was 65–33. A group of House Democrats watching votes in the back of the chamber included Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), whose 17-year-old son was shot and killed by a man in 2012, complaining that his music was very fast.

In the roll call hours earlier, senators voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative GOP senators. This was five more than the required 60-vote limit. The House planned to vote on the measure on Friday and approval seemed certain.

On both votes, 15 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, including two of their fellow independents, in support of the law.

Yet the votes highlighted the risks facing Republicans by defying the party’s pro-gun voters and firearms groups such as the National Rifle Association. Sense. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two out of 15 for this fall. Of the rest, four are retiring and eight will not face voters until 2026.

Clearly, GOP senators who voted “no” included potential 2024 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Some of the party’s most conservative members also voted “no”, including Sans Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

While the Senate measure was a clear success, the outlook for Congress’s continued movement to curb guns is dim.

Less than a third of the 50 GOP senators in the Senate supported the measure, and solid Republican opposition in the House is certain. Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from Louisiana’s No. 2 GOP leader, Representative Steve Scalis, who called the bill “an attempt to gradually take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” .

After November’s midterm elections both houses – now controlled by Democrats – may well be run by the GOP.

In a statement, President Biden said residents of Uvalde told him Washington had to act. “Our children in schools and in our communities will be safe because of this law. I call on Congress to finish the job and get this bill on its desk,” Biden said.

The Senate action comes a month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde. Days before that, a white man was accused of being motivated by racism after he murdered 10 black grocery shoppers in Buffalo. Both shooters were 18 years old, a youth profile shared by many of the mass shooters, and the close timing of the two killers and victims, with whom many could identify, provoked a demand for action by voters, with lawmakers from both parties. Told.

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