Senate passes bipartisan gun safety bill

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The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan gun safety bill that could become the most significant federal gun legislation in decades if passed into law.

Driving the news: The Senate approved the measure by 65 votes to 33, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in voting in favor.

  • The House has signaled that it will quickly pass the legislation and send it to President Biden’s office.

The big picture: The bill, called the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” includes enhanced background checks and clarifications on the “boyfriend loophole,” which prevents domestic abusers from buying guns, single or not, report Alayna Treene and Jacob Knutson of UKTN.

  • It also includes increased funding for mental health and school safety and incentives for states to implement “red flag” laws.
  • A bipartisan group of senators drafted the bill in response to several mass shootings last month, including one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers and another that killed 10. in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
  • The bill was shelved last week as the “four senior” senators involved in drafting the bill struggled to find a compromise over the red flag provision and the “boyfriend loophole”.
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State of play: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who voted to pass the bill, played a crucial role in building Republican support for breaking the 60-vote filibuster.

  • Earlier this week, McConnell called the bill “a grassroots, common-sense package of measures that will help make these horrific incidents less likely while fully respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
  • Yes, but: More House Republicans have announced their opposition to the measure, Politico reports.
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