WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, the product of a compromise that could bring about the most substantial gun safety legislation in decades.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, written by a small group of Republicans and Democrats in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings, would enhance background checks for gun buyers between 18 and 21 years old, incentivize states to enact “red flag” laws that enable firearms to be temporarily confiscated from people deemed dangerous, and provide hundreds of millions of dollars for mental health and school safety. It would also extend to dating partners a federal law that prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing guns.
Fifteen Republicans crossed party lines to side with Democrats in support of the measure, which passed 65 to 33.
The 80-page bill falls short of the toughest gun control measures that Democrats have long sought, but its enactment would still represent a remarkable breakthrough after years of stalemate in Congress on addressing gun violence in the United States. To win over Republicans, Democrats had to drop some of their more expansive proposals, many of which have passed the House but stalled in the Senate amid Republican opposition.
Here’s a look at what’s in the bill — and what was left out.
Enhanced background checks for younger gun buyers
Juvenile records, including those regarding mental health, would for the first time be required in criminal background checks for prospective gun buyers under the age of 21, and authorities would have more time to conduct the checks — 10 days, up from the current three.
Under the legislation, federal authorities would have to check with local law…