Senate Passes Bipartisan Gun Safety Bill

The Senate passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence, making it the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades. 

The final vote in the Senate was 65 to 33, with 15 Republicans joining all Democrats in support of the new measure. 

It marked a significant bipartisan agreement on one of the most contentious policy issues in the United States. 

Next the bill will go to the House for a vote, and then it will go to President Joe Biden in order to be signed into law. 

The deal includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Part of the bill is a significant change to a process for younger people buying guns, aged between 18 and 21. It also closes a so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which was a victory for Democrats. 

It is now the most significant new federal legislation to address gun violence since the expired 10-year assault weapons ban of 1994. 

However, the law fails to ban any weapons and falls far short of what Democrats were fighting for, and furthermore, falls short of what most Americans want to see.

Lawmakers raced to pass the bill before recess begins in July. 

The fact that bill text was finalized, and the legislation now appears poised to pass the Senate, is huge. 

There were many times that the effort appeared to falter, and almost collapse. But negotiators did scrap a deal together. 

Republicans are mostly staunchly against any kind of gun reform, even in the aftermath of many mass shootings, including a horrific elementary school shooting in Texas. 

But many politicians focused instead on the positives of pulling this deal together, no matter what was excluded from it, and producing some semblance of reform after the horrific recent shootings. 

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