On Thursday, the Senate passed the most significant firearms legislation in decades, with a coalition of more than a dozen Republicans joining Democrats to provide new tools to deter mass shootings following deadly attacks around the nation, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The 65-33 vote capped a month of negotiations, led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) and John Cornyn (R., Texas), who were tasked by the leaders of their respective parties with finding a compromise on one of the most contentious topics in American politics, writes the Journal.
Senate Passes Bipartisan Gun Bill Funding Red-Flag Laws, Mental Health Programs (Wall Street Journal)
Spurred to action by a mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the Senate passed the measure 65 to 33, with 15 Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, breaking ranks to side with Democrats in support of the measure, according to the New York Times.
"This is not a cure-all for all the ways gun violence affects our nation, but it is a long overdue step in the right direction," Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor. "It’s significant — it’s going to save lives."
Senate Breaks Decades-Long Impasse on Gun Safety (New York Times)
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act garnered support from all 50 members of the Democratic caucus and a cadre of deal-making Republicans including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has opposed previous attempts to toughen gun laws after mass shootings, writes the Washington Post.
"This is the sweet spot … making America safer, especially for kids in school, without making our country one bit less free," McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.
Senate passes bipartisan gun violence bill, marking breakthrough (Washington Post)
UPDATE: The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed the House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 234-193, with 14 Republicans joining all the Democrats. The bill will now be sent to President Biden so it can be signed into law.