A bipartisan gun control bill that amounts to the first significant federal gun safety legislation in decades was enacted by the Senate on Thursday night.
A huge bipartisan victory on one of the nation’s most difficult policy issues was achieved when the legislation received a final vote of 65 to 33, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support.
Before being passed to President Joe Biden to be signed into law, the bill will next go to the House for a vote.
Millions of dollars will go into crisis intervention programs, mental health services, school safety, and incentives for states to add juvenile records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System as part of the bipartisan gun pact.
Additionally, it closes the infamous boyfriend loophole, a win for Democrats who have long campaigned for it, and makes significant changes to the procedure for anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 seeking to purchase a firearm.
Despite not outright banning any weapons and falling far short of what Democrats and polls indicate the majority of Americans want,
The package amounts to the most significant piece of new federal legislation to address gun violence since the 1994 assault weapons ban, which was set to expire after 10 years.
Before the vote, there were a few dozen people in the Senate gallery. Senators had emphasized that survivors of gun violence, their families, and organizations were present to witness the historic vote in the chamber.
The Supreme Court invalidated a New York gun statute passed more than a century ago that placed restrictions on carrying a concealed pistol outside the home on the same day that the federal gun safety bill was put to a vote.
As the judicial branch executes the broadest expansion of gun rights in a decade and the legislative branch is on course to adopt its most important gun safety package in almost 30 years, the ruling underlines the competing political forces at play on the issue at all levels of government.