Politics Senate passes bilateral gun deal for first time in...

Senate passes bilateral gun deal for first time in three decades, requiring Biden to win


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  • The Senate gun deal is now in the House, where it is expected to pass
  • House GOP leaders are urging their members to vote against it
  • It is a development that President Biden could tout at a time when his voting numbers are sinking

WASHINGTON – Fifteen Republican senators joined Democrats to pass the largest gun security package in three decades, a rare moment of bipartisanship on a politically divisive issue and a much-needed victory for President Joe Biden.

The passage of this bill was a major change in the Republican Party that has always been a firewall against any attempt to restrict gun rights.

But the main GOP negotiator for the gun deal, Sen. of Texas. John Corney said the law saves lives without violating Second Amendment rights.

Sen. of Connecticut. Chris Murphy, the main negotiator for the Democrats, has been fighting for reform since the December 2012 mass shooting at Newtown Elementary School. Survivors of that tragedy and advocates of gun safety were in the gallery on Thursday night to watch the vote.

Murphy’s efforts were renewed last month after a mass shooting in Uwalde, Texas, with the elementary school encouraging him to call his colleagues from the Senate floor: “What are we doing?” He asked during a widely shared speech.

The Connecticut senator remembered those words Thursday night.

“What are we doing? Why are we here? Four weeks ago I asked the Senate those two simple questions,” Murphy tweeted. “Tonight, we responded. The first significant gun safety bill in 30 years just passed in the United States Senate. 65-33. I’m tired. And thankful.”

After nearly two months of heated floor debates, intrusive hearings and the influence of actor Matthew McConaughey, the senators finally passed the Bilateral Safe Community Act 65-33 on Thursday night.

The vote came hours after the US Supreme Court overturned New York law, making it easier for Americans to carry handguns.

‘I don’t feel safe at school’:Survivor Uwalde, 11, fears more shootings; Other guns support hearing

Despite House GOP leaders encouraging their members to vote against it, the deal is now in the House, where it is expected to pass on Friday.

However, the Republican rep. Tony Gonzalez, who represents Uwalde, Texas, said he would vote in favor of the law.

“As a Congressman, it is my duty to pass laws that never violate the Constitution and protect the lives of innocents,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “In the coming days I look forward to voting yes to the Bipartisan Safer Community Act.”

Even without a single GOP representative, the House Democrats have a majority to pass the bill without Republican support and send it to Biden. This is a development that the president can hail as an achievement at a time when his turnout is sinking, as Americans become increasingly frustrated with inflation and disappointing economic forecasts.

Biden called on Congress to “get the job done” and bring the law to his desk.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement to members on Thursday night that the bipartisan gun law would first go to the rules committee in the morning and then “we will go to the floor immediately” for the final route.

The gun law could reach the president’s desk tomorrow.

“Tonight, after 28 years of inactivity, bipartisan members of Congress came together to hear the cries of families across the country and pass legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” Biden said in a statement.

The president has been pressured to “do something” – a request repeatedly made by the families of the victims.

“Families in Ovalde and Buffalo – and many tragic shootings before – have called for action,” Biden said. “And tonight, we acted.”

USA Today / Suffolk poll:Biden approval rating at 39% amid economic fears; 47% ‘heavy rejection’

Biden and other Democrats were pushing for a more comprehensive package than is included in the Senate deal, such as a ban on assault weapons and a ban on the sale of guns to anyone under the age of 21.

But the president has often said, “The whole person should not be the enemy of good.”

Both Democrats and Republicans got some of what they wanted in the Senate deal, including $ 15 billion for mental health and school safety services.

Sense Corinne is one of 15 Republicans who helped advance the gun bill; Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; Thom Tillis and Richard Burr of North Carolina; Susan Collins of Maine; Lindsay Graham of South Carolina; Mitt Romney of Utah; Pete Tummy of Pennsylvania; Todd Young of Indiana; Roy Blunt of Missouri; Rob Portman of Ohio; Shelley Capito of West Virginia; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Johnny Ernst of Iowa; And Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

“The law assembled by Senator Cornin and our colleagues protects the Second Amendment,” McConnell said in a statement. “There are no new restrictions, orders or waiting periods for law-abiding citizens of any age. The bill contains commonsense solutions that are extremely popular with legitimate gun owners, such as adding juvenile criminal records and mental health issues. Background Investigation System It also provides significant new funding for mental health in schools. “

The law would provide grants to each state as an incentive to adopt “red flag” laws, which would allow courts to remove weapons from people they consider dangerous to themselves or others. States that do not enact red flag laws could use the money for other emergency-prevention programs.

The senators also approved an extensive background check on gun buyers 21 and older to include their mental health and juvenile justice records. The law forces sellers and authorities to wait 10 working days to complete the review.

Such a review could lead to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uwalde, Texas last month, as well as mass shootings in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, senators said.

The law also closes the so-called “boyfriend loofah”, a legal gray area that makes some women vulnerable to gun-related domestic violence.

Current law prohibits domestic violence offenders from purchasing a gun if they abuse their spouse or live-in partner with whom they had children. The Senate will extend the law to include partners in current or recent relationships of “boyfriends” or “romantic or intimate nature” who have been convicted of domestic violence.

“This provision alone is saving the lives of many women who unfortunately die at the hands of boyfriends or ex-boyfriends who hunt them down with a weapon,” Murphy said.

Although senators may begin their two-week, July 4 holiday on a high note, the gun deal is unlikely to end the debate on firearms anytime soon. Democrats have said they will continue to push for further reform, and Republicans are now running on the issue in the medium term, claiming the deal unnecessarily restricts the right to firearms.

Looking forward to:Congress may pass Senate gun deal, but big, fragmented stalemate is unlikely to change

‘No matter what happens’:The Senate gun deal leaves voters on both sides dissatisfied, disappointed

Candy Woodall is a congressional reporter for USA Today. She can be contacted at cwoodall@usatoday.com or Twittercandynotcandace on Twitter.

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