A package The bipartisan proposal for modest gun safety measures was approved late Thursday (local time) by the Senate. even as the Supreme Court had expanded gun rights by ruling that Americans have a constitutional right to carry firearms in public to defend yourself.
The landmark court ruling and Senate action on gun safety illustrate the deep divide over firearms in America, weeks after the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, in which more than 30 people died, including 19 children.
The Senate bill, approved in a 65-33 vote, it is the first significant gun control legislation approved in three decades, in a country with the highest gun ownership per capita in the world and the highest number of annual mass shootings among wealthy nations.
“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. The children of the schools and the communities will be safer thanks to her”, indicated the president Joe Biden after the vote. “The House of Representatives should quickly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk.”
A modest bill
The bill, which its supporters say will save lives, is modest: its most important restriction on the possession of weapons would reinforce the background check of potential gun buyers convicted of domestic violence or major crimes when they were minors.
Republicans refused to commit to broader gun control measures favored by Democrats, including Biden, such as the ban on assault rifles or high-capacity magazines.
“This is not a cure for the gun violence that plagues our nation, but it is a long-awaited step in the right direction,” said Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumerbefore the vote.
Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, pushed by its conservative majority, struck down New York State limits on carrying concealed weapons outside the home.
The court found that the law, enacted in 1913, violated people’s right to “to keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In the Senate vote late Thursday, 15 Republicans joined the 50 Democrats to vote in favor of the project.
The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosiapplauded the approval of the bill and stated in a statement that would advance in the House of Representatives on Friday, with a vote as soon as possible.
House Republicans had instructed their members to will vote against the projectalthough since the chamber is controlled by Democrats, their support was not necessary for the bill to pass.
Biden will sign the bill into law.
The Senate action came weeks after a Biden’s impassioned speech, declaring “enough” of gun violence and urged lawmakers to act.
Surveys show that most Americans support some new limits on gunslawsuits that often increase after mass shootings like those in Texas and New York.
Democrats warned that the ruling of the Supreme Court on Thursday could have dire consequences for security of weapons throughout the country.
“The Supreme Court was wrong in the ruling,” the senator said in an interview. Chris MurphyDemocratic lead negotiator of gun safety legislation.
“I’m deeply concerned about the court’s willingness to take away from elected bodies the ability to protect our constituents and that has really serious implications for the security of our country,” said Murphy, whose home state is Connecticut, where 26 people were killed in a 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The Conservatives defend a broad reading of the Second Amendmentwhich they say caps most of the new restrictions on gun purchases.
Bipartisan Senate Safer Communities Act, 80 pageswould encourage states to keep guns out of the hands of who are considered dangerous and would strengthen background checks of potential gun buyers convicted of domestic violence or major crimes as minors.
In 2022, more than 20,800 people died from the gun violence in the United States, for both homicide and suicide, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group.
A “monumental” victory
The ruling of the Supreme Court, whose author is the conservative judge Clarence Thomasstated that the Constitution protects “the right of an individual to carry a handgun for your self defense out of home.”
“This is a monumental victory for members of the NRA and for gun owners across the country,” he explained. Jason Ouimetexecutive director of the National Rifle Association’s Legislative Action Institute, in a statement.
“Is sentence opens the door to correctly change the law in the remaining seven states they still do not recognize the right to carry a firearm for personal protection.
In the Senate, Republican supporters of the new gun safety bill said the measure does not erode the rights of gun owners who comply with the lawand, who are among its most ardent constituents.
“It does not touch in the least the rights of the vast majority of American gun owners, who are law-abiding and sane citizens,” said the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnellwhich supports the legislation.
The bill provides funding to help states adopt “red flag” laws to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are considered a danger to themselves or others. would also finance alternative intervention measures in states that oppose “red flag” laws and would provide increased safety in schools.
Close the “boyfriend loophole” by denying the purchase of weapons to those who have been convicted of abusing their partners in relationships, although if they have no more convictions or sentences they will be allowed to buy again.
It also allows states add criminal and mental health records of minors to national background check databases.
The senator John Cornynthe bill’s lead Republican negotiator, was booed last week when he commented on its contents during a speech to a GOP convention in his home state of Texas.