The Senate has approved a bipartisan gun violence bill in the wake of several mass shootings across the U.S., including one at an Uvalde, Texas elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
According to the Associated Press, the bill was passed by the Senate on Thursday evening with a 65-33 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for approval. If passed through the House, the $13 billion bill would make background checks stricter for young gun buyers, help to restrict domestic violence offenders from purchasing guns, enact red flag laws to smooth the process of seizing firearms from dangerous people and fund programs for mental health and school safety across the nation.
Fifteen Republicans joined all 50 Senate Democrats in voting “yes” for the bill, which is the first major federal gun violence legislation in decades. The efforts were led by Senators Chris Murphy, D-Conn. (pictured above), Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement to the AP: “This is not a cure-all for the all the ways gun violence affects our nation. But it is a long overdue step in the right direction. Passing this gun safety bill is truly significant, and it’s going to save lives.”
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told the AP that “the American people want their constitutional rights protected and their kids to be safe in school,” referring to the second amendment. He added that Americans “want both of those things at once, and that is just what the bill before the Senate will have accomplished.”