One day after the House enacted bipartisan gun legislation that was approved by the Senate late Thursday and submitted to Mr. Biden for his signature, President Joe Biden signed into law the most major gun control measure in three decades on Saturday.
By a vote of 234 to 193, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was approved by the lower chamber. The bill strengthens background checks for anyone purchasing guns under the age of 21, allots billions for mental health care, and eliminates the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to bar convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a gun for five years. The plan also specifies the definition of a federally registered gun dealer, establishes penalties for straw purchases and gun trafficking, and offers $750 million in grants to encourage states to launch crisis intervention programs.
Before approving the legislation on Saturday, President Biden emphasized its significance and recalled being present when earlier gun control legislation was passed in the 1980s.
The vice president remarked, “This law doesn’t do everything I want, but includes things I’ve long called for that save lives.
Additionally, Mr. Biden announced that he will host a White House gathering on July 11 with lawmakers who supported the legislation and gun violence victims who pleaded with him to act.
Despite an increase in gun crime and major shootings around the country, Congress remained inactive on changes to federal firearms laws for 30 years prior to the legislation’s passage by both chambers. A bipartisan group of senators led by Democrats Chris Murphy of Connecticut and John Cornyn of Texas came to an agreement on stricter gun rules in response to recent shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, which resulted in a total of 31 fatalities.
Late on Thursday night, the Senate approved the bill 65-33, with 15 Republicans voting in favor. The bill was supported by all of the Democratic senators.
Before members were scheduled to leave for their two-week break, the House passed the bill after hours of procedural voting on Friday morning. The Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans, according to House Republican leaders, were being undermined by the legislation.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden urged the House to move fast and declared his support for the proposal.
Following the Senate’s adoption of the bill on Thursday, President Biden said, “Tonight, after 28 years of inactivity, bipartisan members of Congress joined together to heed the plea of families throughout the country and passed legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence in our communities.” “Families in Uvalde and Buffalo, as well as the victims of too many other fatal shootings, have called for action. We also performed tonight. This legislation from both parties will defend Americans. As a result, children in schools and communities will be safer. This law should be swiftly passed by the House of Representatives and delivered to my office.”