The Senate on Tuesday advanced a bipartisan gun and school safety bill in response to the Uvalde school shooting, The New York Times reports.
The bill advanced in a 64-34 procedural vote with 14 Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, voting in favor of the legislation.
The bill was largely negotiated by a bipartisan team including Texas Republican John Cornyn, North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis, Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and endorsed by a larger bipartisan group of 20 senators.
Other Republicans not involved in the negotiations, including McConnell, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski also voted in favor of advancing the bill.
“This bipartisan gun safety legislation is progress and will save lives,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “While it is not everything we want, this legislation is urgently needed.”
What’s in the bill:
The 80-page bill, titled the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, will provide funding to states for red-flag programs, which allow authorities to seize weapons from people deemed dangerous.
The bill also closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, extending a ban on guns by married people convicted of domestic violence to romantic partners.
The bill also allows authorities to review juvenile and mental health records of gun buyers under 21 as part of background checks.
Along with gun-related measures, the bill will provide millions to expand mental health resources and school safety measures.
Gun safety groups praise:
Organizations backing gun safety legislation acknowledged that the bill does not go far enough for them but said they would support the compromise bill.
“When school children, churchgoers and grocery store shoppers are being gunned down, the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good,” Derrick Johnson, president of the N.A.A.C.P., said in a statement.
“This bipartisan legislation meets the most important test: it will save lives,” John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement. “We now move one big step closer to breaking the 26-year logjam that has blocked congressional action to protect Americans from gun violence.”