President Joe Biden signed the first gun control bill since 1994 on Saturday (June 25). The bill was negotiated by a bipartisan group of Senators and passed by a 65-33 vote, with 15 Republicans voting in favor of it. It then easily passed in the House of Representatives, where 14 Republicans joined Democrats in the 234-193 vote.
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.
“While this bill doesn’t do everything I want, it does include actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “Today, we say more than ‘enough.’ We say more than enough. This time, when it seems impossible to get anything done in Washington, we are doing something consequential.”
Biden said that the legislation is proof that lawmakers from both parties can work together to get things accomplished.
“When it seems impossible to get anything done in Washington, we are doing something consequential,” Biden said. “If we can reach a compromise on guns, we ought to be able to reach a compromise on other critical issues, from veterans’ health care to cutting-edge American innovation to so much more.”