A gun control bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support on Thursday (June 23). The bill had the support of 15 Republicans as it passed by a 65-33 vote. It is the first gun control bill to pass since 1994.
The 80-page bill expands background checks for gun buyers who are under 21, provides $750 million to states to implement red flag laws, and provides additional funds for school safety and mental health services. The legislation also closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting somebody convicted of domestic violence against an intimate partner. In addition, the legislation creates new penalties for straw purchasers and requires more gun sellers to register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers.
“The legislation that Senator Cornyn and our colleagues assembled protects the Second Amendment,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “There are no new bans, mandates, or waiting periods for law-abiding citizens of any age. What the bill does contain are commonsense solutions that are overwhelmingly popular with lawful gun owners, such as adding juvenile criminal records and mental health issues into the background check system. It also provides significant new funding for mental health in schools.”
The Republicans who voted in favor of the bill were Mitch McConnell, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, Pat Toomey, Todd Young, and Roy Blunt.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass. President Joe Biden said he intends to sign it once it reaches his desk.