The initiative, promoted after the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, was approved with 65 votes in favor and 33 against. / Reference photo
Photo: SHAWN THEW/POOL
The US Senate on Thursday approved legislation aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. The decision was made the same day as the Supreme Court struck down a state law New York which imposed one of the strictest restrictions on the carrying of Firearms.
The initiative, promoted after the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, it was approved with 65 votes in favor and 33 against, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats to push the bill through. The approved rules, which are likely to be ratified by the House of Representatives on Friday, do not meet the demands of gun opponents and President Joe Biden, but are considered an advance after almost 30 years of inertia in Congress.
This bill would strengthen background checks for potential gun buyers ages 18 to 21, “and provide incentives for states to pass red flag laws that allow weapons to be temporarily seized from people a judge deems dangerous,” reads a statement. New York Times publication.
It also includes $11 billion in funding for mental health programs and $2 billion for school safety programs. “This is not a panacea for all the ways gun violence affects our nation, but it is a long-awaited step in the right direction,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. “It’s significant, it’s going to save lives,” he added.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said the law will make America safer “without making our country any less free.”
“This is a package (of rules) of common sense. Their layouts are very, very popular. It contains zero new restrictions, zero new waiting periods, zero mandates, and zero bans of any kind for law-abiding gun owners,” the senator said.
Even though this is the first significant gun control legislation passed in three decades, the bill is modest; Republicans did not commit to gun control measures, such as a ban on assault rifles.
This issue is key in a country where, due to rifle bullets AR-15For example, 20 children have died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (2012); 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida (2016); 59 at a concert in Nevada, Las Vegas (2017); 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (2018).
“America has far more guns than citizens,” wrote Thomas Fuller of New York Times. We are talking about 393 million firearms, according to the most recent Small Arms Survey, compared to 332 million inhabitants. “And the pandemic sparked an even bigger gun-buying craze. Annual domestic production increased from 3.9 million in 2000 to 11.3 million in 2020,” Fuller added. The Pew Research Center gave a similar balance in June of last year: “About a third of adults in the country say they own a gun,” reads the report.
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