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The Senate adopts the most significant gun control legislation in decades

Written by Javed Iqbal

Washington – The Senate voted late Thursday by 65 to 33 to pass the two-party arms control bill, the most significant gun legislation in nearly 30 years.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who led the talks along with Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, said Thursday in the Senate that the legislation “responds” to the shootings last month at 6 p.m. grocery store in Buffalo, New Yorkand by one elementary school in Uvalde, Texas – which left a total of 31 people dead, including 19 children – in a “positive and affirmative way.”

“I do not believe in doing anything in relation to what we saw in Uvalde and we have seen in far too many communities,” Cornyn said. “Doing nothing is a waiver of our responsibility as representatives of the American people here in the U.S. Senate.”

The bill will now be sent back to Parliament, where President Nancy Pelosi has promised to take it up quickly. Although minority leader Kevin McCarthy has called on Republicans to vote against the bill, it is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House.

“Only early tomorrow will the Rules Committee meet to promote this life-saving legislation to the floor,” Pelosi said in a statement Thursday night.

Although the bill does not represent all of the arms control measures President Biden had called for, he is expected to sign the bill.

Congress arms
Late. John Cornyn, R-Texas, arrives to meet with Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn., And Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Arrives for several two-party talks on how to curb gun violence, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday June 15, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP


In a statement released after the vote, Mr. Ask Parliament to “immediately vote on this two-part bill and send it to my desk.”

“Tonight, after 28 years of inactivity, bipartisan members of Congress came together to follow the call from families across the country and passed legislation to counter the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” he said. “Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and too many tragic shootings before – have demanded action. And tonight we acted.”

Republicans who voted for the bill are Sens. Roy Blunt; Richard Burr; Shelley Moore Capito; Bill Cassidy; Susan Collins; John Cornyn; Joni Ernst; Lindsey Graham; Mitch McConnell; Lisa Murkowski; Rob Portman; Mitt Romney; Thom Tillis; Pat Toomey; And Todd Young.

McConnell said the Senate passed legislation, as well The Supreme Court strikes down a gun law in New York earlier Thursday, created “two landmark victories.”

“I am proud of these two complementary victories, which will make our country freer and more secure at the same time,” said the Senate Minority Leader. “Law-abiding Americans will go to bed tonight with significantly stronger Second Amendment rights than they had this morning, while new commonsense protections around convicted criminals and mental illness are now on the verge of becoming law.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that he is “pleased that we are finally taking meaningful action on arms for the first time in almost 30 years to keep communities safe.”

Senate negotiators released a frame of the proposal earlier this month, and unveiled the legal text on Tuesday, after which the upper house took the first step to advance the bill in a two-party procedural vote.

The legislation improves background checks for potential arms buyers under the age of 21, closes the so-called “girlfriend bribe”, clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer and creates criminal sanctions for straw purchases and arms trafficking. It also provides $ 750 million in grants to encourage states to implement crisis intervention programs and provides about billions of dollars in federal funding to strengthen mental health services for children and families and harden schools.

The Senate’s action does not go as far as what Mr. Biden has called and is significantly narrower than a package of bills that passed the house this month. This legislation would raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years and ban high-capacity magazines. It also encourages the safe storage of firearms and lays down requirements for regulating the storage of weapons in residential areas.

While Parliament’s legislation contained many of the proposals advocated by Mr Biden, it would not have won enough Republican support to overcome the 60-vote threshold for legislation to pass in the Senate.

Democrats involved in the upper house bipartisan discussions have acknowledged that their proposal is more tailored, but they have said a slim package had a better chance of receiving GOP support.

The bill is opposed by the National Rifle Association, which said in a statement Tuesday that the legislative proposals could be “abused to restrict legal arms purchases, violate the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures adopted by state and local politicians.” ”

The House’s Republican leaders have also said the Senate’s plan is part of an attempt to erode the rights of law-abiding Americans for another amendment. But McConnell, who voted for the bill, told the Senate on Wednesday that the legislation promotes “common sense solutions without withdrawing the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

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Javed Iqbal

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