The Senate passed a bipartisan gun bill late Thursday night in a 65-33 vote.
The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, comes in the wake of several recent mass shootings. The mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was the major driver behind the bipartisan effort.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Safer Communities Act was the first major gun safety legislation to be passed since the Brady Bill in 1994.
“Tonight, the United States Senate is doing something many believed was impossible even a few weeks ago: we are passing the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” he said in a statement. “The gun safety bill we are passing tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, commonsense, lifesaving.”
The bill would provide funding for states to create programs that could keep weapons away from people who are dangers to themselves or others, often called red flag laws. It would also enhance background checks for gun buyers under 21, add penalties for some gun criminals and provide funding for a variety of health and mental health-related programs.
It also addresses close the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which is a gap in federal law that means spousal domestic abusers can have gun rights taken away but not unmarried ones.
The bill now heads to the House. President Biden has said he intends to sign it if passed.
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