The United States Senate on Tuesday took the initial procedural step to pass the first significant gun control legislation in decadesfollowing two deadly shootings in a country that has long struggled to stop episodes of gun violence that have become chronic.
Senators voted to speed up the approval of a bipartisan package of measures aimed at toughening federal laws on gun ownership. The Senate is expected to vote on the 80-page bill this week before taking its two-week recess for the summer.
The senators began the process of approving the law, with 64 votes in favor and 34 against, two hours after a bipartisan group of legislators published the text of the legislative project. Fourteen Republicans joined 50 Democrats in backing the bill, reported Political.
The bill introduced Tuesday does not go as far as Democrats, including President Joe Biden, had hoped. Still, if approved, It would be the most important action in years by the legislature to combat gun violence.
The legislation includes provisions that would help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed a danger to themselves or others and close a loophole blocking gun sales to people convicted of abusing their partners.
After the shootings at a New York supermarket and a Texas elementary school that authorities say were committed by teenagers, the bill would allow states to provide juvenile records to the national system of background checks for the purchase of weapons.
the bill it does not manage to raise the age limit from 18 to 21 years for the purchase of weapons assault automatics. The attackers – in both Texas and New York – were 18-year-olds who used assault rifles they bought themselves.
The majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer said he expects the bill to pass this weekwhile Senator Chris Murphy, the Democratic leader in the deal talks with Republicans, described the initiative as “the most important anti-gun violence law passed by Congress in 30 years.”
“This is a breakthrough”Murphy said on the Senate floor before the bill’s release. “And more importantly, it’s a bipartisan breakthrough.”
The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell called the legislation “a common sense plan” and pledged his support.
(With information from Reuters Y Aristegui News)