De Senate passed gun control legislation on Thursday night, paving the way for final congressional approval of what will be the most important firearms legislation in decades.
The vote of 65-33 came after a month of negotiations that finally reached a compromise on one of the country’s most controversial political issues.
Yet the nation’s divisions were clearly visible at a time when the Supreme Court was expanding gun rights by ruling that Americans have a constitutional right to wear handguns in public for self-defense.
The legislation provides about $ 15 billion in funding to help states implement red-flag laws to keep guns from high-risk owners and expand background checks.
It went through after 15 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, ignored former President Donald Trump’s demand that they vote against it.
After the vote, McConnell said the measures would not affect the rights of the Second Amendment.
“Bipartisan talks had begun after horrific mass murder incidents in the past, but collapsed when Senate Democrats agreed to attack the Second Amendment,” he said.
‘This time it was different, because Democrats are finally moving our way and accepting the reality that Americans do not have to choose between their constitutional rights and safer communities. They can have both. ‘
Some of his colleagues disagreed.
Senator Roger Marshall said, “Kansans expect me to protect their constitutional freedoms in the U.S. Senate, and I will not sacrifice those freedoms for this scheme to seize weapons.”
The Senate voted 65 to 34 to end a filibuster-led republic over the gun reform package, removing another major obstacle, with the Senate’s final passage later Thursday.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted in favor of breaking the filibuster on the two-party gun control package Thursday afternoon
Earlier the Senate voted 65 to 34 for an end to a Republican-led filibuster on the gun reform package, clearing the way to the final vote.
Biden said Monday he was ready to sign the gun law, but he flew to Germany and then Saturday morning to Spain for G7 and NATO meetings, so it is unclear if he will have time to sign the law before leaving.
The vote comes after an initial procedural vote of 64-34 was taken in the Senate Tuesday night, with 14 Republicans voting for all 50 Democrats in the affirmative vote.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, was not present for the vote due to suffering a ‘severe’ hand injury after trying to remove a boulder in his yard.
Among the votes in favor of the bill was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell said it was a ‘commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrific incidents less likely, while fully retaining the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.’
Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn was one of the chief negotiators because there were new calls for stricter gun control laws in the aftermath of the shooting at elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The same group of Republicans voted to break the filibuster Thursday, with the addition of Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who was not on hand for the first vote.
Other Republicans who voted yes include Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis and Todd Young.
The 80-page compromise legislation would strengthen background checks for younger gun buyers, strengthen background check requirements and increase fines for gun dealers.
The bill would also ban romantic partners convicted of domestic abuse who were not married to their victims from obtaining firearms.
Convicted abusers who are married to, live with or have children with their victims are already prohibited from possessing weapons.
In addition, $ 750 million would be provided to the 19 states that have “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take firearms from people who are considered dangerous, and to other states with prevention programs. violence.
States with ‘red flag’ laws that receive the funds would have to have legal proceedings for the owner of the gun to combat the removal of the firearm.
The bill would distribute money to states and communities to improve school safety and mental health initiatives.
While the majority of senators want to push for a quick final passage, Republican Senator Rand Paul told Punchbowl News he had tabled seven amendments to explain the process.
On Wednesday, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives encouraged colleagues to vote against it.
‘This legislation takes the wrong approach when trying to curb violent crime. House Republicans are committed to identifying and resolving the root causes of violent crime, but doing so should not infringe on ‘second amendment rights,’ said House Minority Whip Steve Scalise in a statement telling House GOP members to vote against the legislation .
However, it is expected that some moderate Republicans from the House will vote in favor of the bill.
In a statement Tuesday, the National Rifle Association came out against the bill, saying it was “deficient at all levels”.
“It does not do much to really tackle violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of the Freedom of the Second Amendment by law-abiding gun owners,” the statement said. “This legislation can be abused to restrict legal gun purchases, infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans, and use federal dollars to fund gun control measures adopted by state and local politicians.”
Former President Donald Trump has also come out against the bill, and hammered McConnell – with whom he had an outburst when McConnell did not support the ‘big lie’ – for his support.
“Mitch McConnell’s pressure on Republican senators to vote for Gun Control will be the last straw,” Trump posted on Truth Social on Thursday. ‘Just as he removed the ebt ceiling and got NITS in return, or gave the Dems a great bite and victory with the Infrastructure Bill, which is basically all about the Green New Deal, he now forces approval of the FIRST STEP INTO YOUR ORDINARY REMOVAL! ‘
‘Republican Senators Should NOT VOTE FOR THIS CAREER AND BILL !!!’ Trump wrote.
Trump also referred to Cornyn as a ‘RINO’, a Republican by name only.
The Senate’s vote came just hours after the Supreme Court passed a New York state law that allowed people to give ‘good cause’ if they wanted to carry a gun in public.
The new ruling opens the door to allow all law-abiding Americans to carry concealed and loaded rifles in public.
Senate votes 65 to 33 to pass bipartisan arms control package and ends years of stalemate
Source link Senate votes 65 to 33 to pass bipartisan arms control package and ends years of stalemate