US Congress Passes Gun Violence Bill In Aftermath Of Mass Shootings – National

A bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable a month ago is poised to win final congressional approval, a vote that will deliver the most sweeping response from lawmakers in decades to brutal mass shootings that shocked Americans but failed to deliver. surprised.

The House was set to vote on the $13 billion package Friday, exactly one month after a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Just days earlier, a racist white man allegedly murdered 10 black grocery stores in Buffalo, New York.

The two massacres — days of one another and falling victim to helpless people for whom the public felt immediate empathy — led both sides to conclude that Congress needed to act, especially in an election year. After weeks of closed-door talks, Senate negotiators from both sides reached a compromise with mild but drastic steps to make such chaos less likely.

“Families in Uvalde and Buffalo, and too many tragic shootings before, have demanded action. And tonight we acted,” President Joe Biden said after the passage. He said the House should send it to him soon, adding: “Kids in schools and communities will be safer as a result.”

Read more:

US Senate passes most important gun law in decades after mass shootings

The legislation would tighten background checks for the youngest gun buyers, protect firearms from more perpetrators of domestic violence and help states introduce warning laws that would make it easier for authorities to take guns from people deemed dangerous. It would also fund local school safety, mental health and violence prevention programs.

The Senate approved the measure on Thursday 65-33. Fifteen Republicans — a remarkably high number for a party that has been derailing gun restrictions for years — joined all 50 Democrats, including their two independent allies, to pass the bill.

Still, that meant less than a third of GOP senators supported the measure. And with House Republicans expected to vigorously oppose it, the fate of future congressional actions against guns seems in doubt, even if the GOP is expected to gain control of the House and possibly the Senate in the election. from Nov.

Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from No. 2 GOP leader, Rep. Steve Scalise from Louisiana. He called the bill “an effort to slowly get rid of the 2nd amendment rights of law-abiding citizens”.

Click to play video: 'US Supreme Court extends gun rights and repeals New York firearms safety law'

US Supreme Court extends gun rights and repeals firearms safety law in New York

US Supreme Court extends gun rights and repeals firearms safety law in New York

While the bill was notable for its contrast to Washington’s longstanding stalemate, it’s far from satisfying the tougher gun restrictions that Democrats have sought and thwarted Republicans for years. Those include a ban on the assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the Buffalo and Uvalde murders.

But the accord allowed Senate leaders from both parties to declare victory and demonstrate to voters that they know how to compromise and make government work, while also leaving room for each party to appeal to its most important supporters.

“This is not a panacea for all the ways gun violence affects our nation,” said Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., whose party has made gun restrictions its goal for decades. “But it’s a long-awaited step in the right direction.”

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a nod to the Second Amendment right to bear arms that drives many conservative voters, said, “The American people want their constitutional rights to be protected and their children safe in school. “

Read more:

US two-pronged arms deal reaches final agreement phase, senators say

The day proved bittersweet for proponents of curbing gun violence. Underscoring the enduring power of conservative cIout, the right-wing Supreme Court issued a decision to extend Americans’ right to bear guns in public by repealing a New York law requiring people to prove they must carry a gun before they are licensed to carry a weapon. to do.

Hours before the final passage, the Senate voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative GOP senators aimed at destroying the legislation. That was five more than the 60-vote threshold required.

But the Senate votes highlighted the wariness most Republicans feel about defying the party’s pro-gun voters and gun groups like the National Rifle Association. Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two of the 15 to be re-elected this fall. Of the rest, four will retire and eight will not have to deal with voters until 2026.

Tellingly, GOP senators who voted “no” were potential 2024 presidential candidates, such as Texas’s Ted Cruz, Missouri’s Josh Hawley, and South Carolina’s Tim Scott. Cruz said the legislation would “disarm law-abiding citizens rather than take serious action to protect our children.”

The talks leading up to the bill were led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, RN.C. Murphy was representing Newtown, Connecticut, when an attacker killed 20 students and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, while Cornyn was involved in previous gun talks following mass shootings in his state and close to McConnell.

Click to Play Video: 'US Supreme Court Rules Americans Have Right to Carry Firearms in Public, Breaks Borders in New York'

US Supreme Court rules Americans have right to carry firearms in public, breaks New York borders

US Supreme Court rules Americans have right to carry firearms in public, breaks New York borders

The bill would make the local youth records of people ages 18 to 20 available during mandatory federal background checks when trying to purchase guns. Those investigations, currently limited to three days, would last up to 10 days to give federal and local officials time to search records.

People convicted of domestic violence who are current or former romantic partners of the victim should not be allowed to purchase firearms, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

That ban currently only applies to people who are married to, cohabiting with or have had children with the victim.

There would be money to help states enforce red flag laws and for other states without violence prevention programs. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have such laws.

The measure expands the use of background checks by rewriting the definition of the federally licensed arms dealers needed to perform them. Gun trafficking sanctions are tightening, billions of dollars are being provided for behavioral clinics and mental health programs in schools, and there is money for safety initiatives in schools, but not for staff to use a “dangerous weapon.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press