Biden signs historic weapons measure and says “lives will be saved”

President Joe Biden on Saturday signed the broadest armed violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

“Lives will be saved,” he said at the White House. Citing the families of the victims of the shooting, the president said, “His message to us was to do something. Well today I did.”

The House gave final approval on Friday, following Senate approval on Thursday, and Biden acted just before leaving Washington for two summits in Europe.

What You Need to Know

  • This comes after the House on Friday passed a bipartisan gun security bill passed Thursday in response to last month’s mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.
  • The bipartisan commitment, forged by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, marks the most important and comprehensive federal legislation to address armed violence in decades.
  • The bill includes funding for states to enact “red flag” laws, improved background checks for gun buyers ages 18 to 21, funding for school safety and mental health programs, and closes the so-called “boyfriend hay” “e
  • Fifteen Republicans in the Senate and 14 in the House have joined the unanimous Democratic caucus to pass incremental, albeit significant, legislation.

The legislation will toughen background checks for younger gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders, and help states establish red-flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people considered dangerous.

Most of its $ 13 billion cost will help bolster mental health programs and aid schools, which have been the subject of mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere.

While the bill does not include tougher restrictions that Democrats have long advocated, such as a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions, it is the most shocking firearm violence measure in the world. Congress since an already expired assault weapons ban was enacted. in 1993.

“While this bill doesn’t do everything I want, it does include actions I’ve been asking for for a long time that will save lives,” Biden said.

After years of clashes in Congress over gun rights between Democrats and Republicans, and after countless mass shootings, including those in Newtown, Connecticut, Parkland, Fla., El Paso, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and Las Vegas, members of both. parties came together to forge a compromise in the wake of last month’s riots in Texas and New York.

“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress have come together to address the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of armed violence in our communities,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on Thursday night after the bill passed. “The Uvalde and Buffalo families, and too many tragic shootings before, demanded action. And tonight, we acted.”

“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans,” the president continued. “Children in schools and communities will be safer for it.”

Led by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, bipartisan talks on the legislation began after last month’s deadly massacres and quickly gained strength in the following weeks, culminating in the launch. of a mid-June framework backed by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans, enough to get past the Senate obstruction threshold, which had frequently derailed gun rights legislation in the past.

Murphy, a longtime gun advocate who previously represented Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in the House, and Cornyn, who was attacked by Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican of Kentucky. of the Uvalde shooting, senators Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona MP, and Thom Tillis, RN.Y., joined to forge a bipartisan commitment to the legislation.

“This will become the most important piece of legislation against armed violence that Congress has passed in three decades,” Murphy said in the Senate before the vote. “This bill also has a chance to show the tired American public that democracy is not so broken, that it is able to live up to the moment.”

“I don’t believe in doing anything in the face of what we’ve seen in Uvalde and other communities,” Cornyn said. “Doing nothing is an abdication of our responsibility.”

The final vote on the measure was 65-33, with 15 Republicans joining the unanimous Democratic caucus to pass incremental, albeit significant, legislation. The bill marks the first federal gun reform legislation in nearly 30 years.

The $ 80 billion, $ 13 billion bill, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, includes:

  • Improved background checks for 18- and 21-year-old gun buyers
  • Close the so-called “boyfriend’s pond,” which would extend the ban on those convicted of domestic abuse buying weapons from couples who do not live with the victim.
  • Funding to allow states to establish red-flag laws, restrictions that allow police, family members, or others to apply for a court order to allow authorities to remove firearms from which they consider themselves a danger to themselves or others .
  • Impose tougher restrictions on straw buying and arms trafficking
  • Funding for school mental health and safety programs

While the bill does not live up to what many gun safety advocates and Democrats have called for, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and enacting universal background checks, supporters of gun reform of fire applauded the measure as a step to the right. address.

“This is not a cure for all the ways in which armed violence affects our nation,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. “But it’s a long-awaited step in the right direction. It’s significant, it’s going to save lives.”

McConnell, R-Ky., Who supported the bill, called it “a package of popular solutions and common sense to make these horrific incidents less likely.”

Republican lawmakers who voted with Democrats were: Sens Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Richard Burr, RN.C., Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Lindsey Graham, RC, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Mitt Romney, R- Utah, Thom Tillis , RN.C., Pat, Toomey, R-Pa. and Todd Young, R-Ind.

The House vote was also bipartisan, though less so: only 14 Republicans joined all Democrats to support the measure.

A startling Republican vote was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who said in a statement, “As a mother and constitutional conservative, I am proud to support this sensible bill that will protect our children and limit violence without violating law-abiding citizens. “Rights of the Second Amendment.”

Another Republican who joined Cheney was his House panelist on Jan. 6, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is not seeking re-election in November.

Several House Republicans, including Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Uvalde, Texas MP, and New York MP John Katko, had previously expressed that they would break ranks to support the bill.

Now emotional posting on TwitterGonzales, describing himself as a “survivor of domestic abuse,” wrote that he hoped to vote for the law: “As a member of Congress, it is my duty to pass laws that never violate the Constitution while protecting the lives of the innocent.”

The vote came just hours after the Conservative majority in the Supreme Court overturned a New York covert transportation restriction, greatly expanding the right of Americans to carry firearms in public, marking a mixed day for security reform advocates. weapons.

Biden signs historic weapons measure and says “lives will be saved”

Source link Biden signs historic weapons measure and says “lives will be saved”

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