US Senate to pass first significant gun legislation in decades


Washington D.C
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is questioned by reporters at the US Capitol in Washington June 21, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the strict first gun control legislation in decades, setting the path for the US Senate to vote this week in response to two mass shootings that left dozens dead and sent shock waves through a nation plagued by gun violence.

The 80-page bill contains provisions that would assist states in keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and close the so-called "boyfriend loophole" by prohibiting the sale of guns to individuals convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners.

After teen-committed mass shootings at a New York supermarket and a Texas elementary school, the Act would empower states to send juvenile records to the national background check system for gun purchases.

The Senate was expected to hold its first procedural vote on a motion to move to a measure from the House of Representatives that would serve as the Senate's legislative vehicle yesterday afternoon, according to lawmakers.

"I believe that this week, Congress will enact the most substantial piece of anti-gun violence legislation it has passed in the past three decades. Senator Chris Murphy, the Democratic negotiator in charge, declared this was a breakthrough on the Senate floor, and it is a bipartisan breakthrough.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer committed to moving forward as soon as possible, with a motion to advance anticipated.

This bipartisan proposal on gun safety is a step forward and will save lives. Schumer said in a statement that this measure is critically required despite not being everything we desire.

In a statement of support, Schumer's Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, referred to the plan as "a sensible package."

To clear a procedural obstacle in the 100-seat Senate, the legislation will need the support of at least 10 Republicans.

The National Rifle Association, the largest gun lobby in the country, stated on Twitter that it opposes the proposal because it may be abused to restrict lawful gun purchases. The politically influential group's stance could influence the number of Republicans who vote in favor of the legislation.

Senator John Cornyn, the chief Republican negotiator in the bipartisan negotiations, was optimistic that the proposal would pass.

"We are aware that there are no ideal laws, and we are imperfect individuals. "But we must try, and I believe this bill is a step in the right direction," Senator Cornyn stated on the Senate floor.

The bill's release yesterday would increase the likelihood of Senate approval before members leave for a two-week Independence Day break. Some advisers predicted MPs could vote on the package over the weekend.

Since a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, less than two weeks after ten people were slain in a racist shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, the bipartisan group has been working on a plan to reduce gun violence.

'Red flag legislation'

The newly announced legislation falls short of what Democrats, including President Joe Biden, had expected. Nonetheless, it would be the most substantial measure to curb gun violence in years.

Legislators secured consensus on a clause to encourage states to implement "red flag" legislation, which allows the temporary confiscation of firearms from dangerous individuals. It also provides funds for states that employ alternative interventions to achieve the same result.

The bill also addresses the "boyfriend loophole" by permitting police to prevent gun sales by individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against unmarried partners.

Publish : 2022-06-22 07:39:00

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