The House of Representatives approved the gun bill on Friday, exactly a month after a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign the most sweeping gun violence bill passed by Congress in decades on Saturday, the White House said.
The bill is a measured compromise that immediately illustrates progress on the long-stubborn issue and the deep partisan divide that persists.
The Democrat-led chamber approved the election year bill by a majority of 234 votes to 193, mostly on the party line, capping a surge of action sparked by voter distaste at last month’s mass shootings in New York and Texas. The Senate approved the measure late Thursday by a bipartisan majority of 65 to 33.
Every House Democrat and 14 Republicans — six of whom will be out of Congress next year — voted in favor of the measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., underscored his importance to her party by taking the unusual step of officiating the vote and announcing the result from the podium to Huzzas of humble Democrats on the chamber floor .
Among Republicans backing the legislation was Rep. Liz Cheney of gun-friendly Wyoming, who has broken sharply with leaders of her party and is helping to lead the House investigation into last year’s Capitol uprising by supporters of then-President Donald Trump . In a statement, she said that “as a mother and a conservative of the Constitution,” she believes the law will curb violence and increase security, adding, “Nothing in the law restricts the rights of responsible gun owners.” Point.”
Impossible to ignore was the juxtaposition of the week’s arms votes with two harrowing Supreme Court decisions on two of the nation’s most inflammatory culture war issues. Judges on Thursday struck down a New York law that restricted people’s ability to carry concealed weapons, and on Friday they ruled Roe v. Wade and removed the protections for abortions that this case had afforded for half a century.
RELATED: Differences between leaked abortion draft and final opinion
The bill, drafted by senators from both parties, would gradually tighten requirements for young people to buy guns, deny firearms to more domestic abusers and help local authorities temporarily confiscate guns from those deemed dangerous. Most of the $13 billion in costs would go to bolster mental health programs and schools targeted in Newtown, Connecticut, Parkland, Florida and many other notorious massacres.
It omits far stricter restrictions that Democrats have long advocated like an assault weapons ban and background checks on all gun deals, but is the most powerful measure against gun violence Congress has authorized since passing a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993 Has.
The legislation was a direct result of the killing of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, exactly a month ago and the killing of 10 black shoppers days earlier in Buffalo, New York. Lawmakers returned from their counties after those shootings, saying voters were demanding action from Congress, a vehemence many felt could not be ignored.
RELATED: 22 mass shootings. 374 dead. This is where the guns came from
“This gives our community some much-needed hope that we’ve been crying out for for years and years and years,” Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., whose 17-year-old son was shot dead by a man in 2012. He complained his music was too loud, said supporters outside the Capitol. “Understand and know that this bill does not answer all of our prayers, but that is hope.”
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said hesitantly supports the bill for his father, who was shot to death exactly 30 years ago, the 58 people killed in a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, “and so many other Americans.” who are victims and survivors of gun violence.”
For the Conservatives who dominate the House GOP, it boiled down to the Constitution’s Second Amendment right for people to own firearms, a key protection for many voters who own guns. “Today they’re demanding the freedoms of our Second Amendment, and who knows what tomorrow will bring,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said of the Democrats.
Pelosi said of the judges’ gun verdict Thursday, “The Trump-McConnell court implicitly sanctions the tragedy of mass shootings and daily gun deaths that plague our nation.” That was a reference to the three conservative judges appointed by Trump and one Senate led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
But House Republicans used the gun debate to laud both court decisions. “What a great day for the babies and, as the speaker described it, the Trump-McConnell Supreme Court,” said Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis.
MP Dan Bishop, RN.C., said the firearms ruling “electrified the country and left the far left seething – the Constitution means what it says.”
In the Senate, all Democrats and 15 Republicans supported the compromise. Only two of those GOP senators face re-election next year.
But overall, less than a third of GOP senators and just 1 in 15 House Republicans backed the measure. That means the fate of future Congressional action on guns appears in doubt, even as the GOP is expected to gain control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate in November’s election.
McConnell carefully followed the negotiations leading up to the bill and voted in favor of it, partly in the hope that it would attract moderate voters from the suburbs whose support the GOP will need in its November bid for Senate control. In contrast, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other GOP leaders in the more conservative House of Representatives opposed it.
The legislation was opposed by firearms groups such as the National Rifle Association. But groups supporting gun curbs like Brady and Everytown for Gun Safety weren’t the only ones supporting it. Support also came from the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The discussions leading up to the bill were led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, RN.C.
As part of the compromise, background checks for gun buyers aged 18 to 20 will now include a check of their local youth records. The accused shooters in Uvalde and Buffalo were both 18 years old.
Persons convicted of domestic violence who are current or former romantic partners of the victim—not simply spouses or those who lived with or had children with the abused person—are prohibited from acquiring firearms. This closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole”.
There will be money to help states enforce “red flag” laws that help authorities temporarily confiscate guns from those deemed threatening and for other states’ violence prevention programs. More people selling guns would need to become federally licensed gun dealers and get background checks.
Penalties for gun trafficking are increasing, billions of dollars are being allocated to behavioral clinics and school psychiatric programs, and there is money for school safety initiatives but not for staff to use a “dangerous weapon.”
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/biden-sign-gun-violence-bill-congress/507-1a6de230-5030-494b-a384-a15ea8c6da33 LIVE: Biden signs bipartisan gun violence bill passed by Congress