Home » World » ‘Bipartisan, common-sense, lifesaving’ – US Senate advances breakthrough bill on gun safety

‘Bipartisan, common-sense, lifesaving’ – US Senate advances breakthrough bill on gun safety

‘Bipartisan, common-sense, lifesaving’ – US Senate advances breakthrough bill on gun safety
  • The US Senate passed the first gun safety legislation in almost 30 years.
  • The bill has been hailed as lifesaving.
  • It had the backing of all 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans.

US senators advanced a bipartisan bill late on Thursday addressing the epidemic of gun violence convulsing the country, approving a narrow package of new firearms restrictions and billions of dollars in mental health and school security funding.

The reforms – which are almost certain to be rubber-stamped by the House of Representatives on Friday – fall short of the demands of gun safety advocates and US President Joe Biden, but have been hailed as a life-saving breakthrough after almost 30 years of inaction by Congress.

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The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was backed by all 50 Democratic senators and 15 Republicans, includes enhanced background checks for buyers under the age of 21, $11 billion in funding for mental health and $2 billion for school safety programmes.

It also provides funding to incentivise states to implement “red flag” laws to remove firearms from people considered a threat.

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And it closes the so-called “boyfriend” loophole, under which domestic abusers could avoid a ban on buying firearms if they were not married to or living with their victim.

“Tonight, the United States Senate is doing something many believed was impossible even a few weeks ago: we are passing the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” Senate Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer said after the legislation passed.

He added:

The gun safety bill we are passing tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, common-sense, lifesaving.

Fatal shootings

His Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell said the…

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