WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in nearly three decades, Congress could pass major gun reform legislation. The Senate took a step forward on this issue after weeks of bipartisan negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- NY) said he wants the Senate to vote on the bill by the end of this week. After the initial procedural vote, there was bipartisan support.
“I support it,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R- KY). “I hope we’ll be able to move forward obviously that will be determined by the membership just how long we spend on the bill but regardless I hope we’ll be able to pass it. I think it’s a significant step in the right direction because it deals with the two issues it focuses on: school safety and mental health.”
Here’s what’s in the bill: It enhances background checks for people under 21, which would give about ten days to review juvenile and mental health records. It also gives money for states to enact “red flag” laws, which allow courts to seize guns from people who are considered a danger to themselves or others. It also closes a “boyfriend” loophole, preventing partners convicted of domestic abuse that live outside a victim’s home from buying a gun. The bill also provides hundreds of millions towards mental health and school safety. There will also be penalties for people who buy guns and then sell them to anyone not legally allowed to own a gun.
“We all worked together to get something meaningful done,” said Sen. Schumer. “The bipartisan bill is real progress and beyond all the political considerations, it will save lives.”
In the initial procedural vote, 14 republicans voted to move forward with this legislation. If those 14 vote “yes” for that final vote, the bill will clear the Senate. It will then move over into the House. We expect the House to also move quickly on this.
While this legislation doesn’t include everything the Democrats wanted, it’s a significant move for the Senate. As we’ve seen previously with hot topic issues, it’s been nearly impossible getting both sides to find some common ground. We expect the Senate to make a final vote on this bill by Thursday, June 23.