The US Senate has passed a bipartisan gun control bill for the first time in three decades.
The bill which will now be sent to the House of Representatives passed the Senate on Thursday with a 65 – 33 vote.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, comes in the wake of several recent mass shootings the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Funding for states to create programs that could keep weapons away from people who are a danger to themselves or others, often called red flag laws would be provided under the bill. It would also enhance background checks for gun buyers under 21, add penalties for some gun criminals and provide funding for a variety of health and mental health-related programs.
It also addresses closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which is a gap in federal law that means spousal domestic abusers can have gun rights taken away but not unmarried ones.
President Joe Biden in a statement said “This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it. The House of Representatives should promptly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk.”
In another development, the US Supreme Court in a ruling on Thursday struck down New York state’s limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home for self-defense.
The court in its ruling said the law violated a person’s right to “keep and bear arms” under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.