Senate votes to advance bipartisan gun control legislation

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The US Senate voted on Tuesday to introduce a new bipartisan gun control bill in a procedural move that led to 14 Republicans supporting gun restrictions.

The 64-to-34 vote was a critical step in passing the potential legislation, suggesting it could cross the 60-vote threshold needed to break the Senate’s holdup when the bill comes up for a formal vote. The bill would need the support of 10 Republicans and all Democrats in the Senate to avoid stalling.

Senator. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, left, and Senator. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, right, speaks to reporters after a closed-door political meeting at the Washington Capitol, Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

If the Senate breaks the moratorium, the bill will then be put to a vote on its final passage. From there, the House will have to vote on the legislation before it reaches President Biden’s office.

The 80-page bill was released Tuesday night and includes expanded background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, provides grants for states implementing their own red flag laws and provides additional funding for both school safety measures and mental health services.

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The measure also imposes penalties on straw purchases of firearms, requires more gun sellers to register as federally licensed firearms dealers, and closes the so-called friend loophole by prohibiting gun access to people convicted of domestic violence against an intimate partner.

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Senator Schumer speaking during the presentation.

Senator Schumer speaking during the presentation.
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The bill follows a bipartisan framework that earlier this month 10 Republican senators had already signed on to. This framework of arms control measures was the basis of Tuesday’s legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican-Kentucky, and Senator. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the bill’s lead Republican negotiator, voted to make the legislation.

“I support the text of the bill introduced by Senator Cornyn and our colleagues,” McConnell said in a statement Tuesday night.

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Senator.  John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks about a proposed Democratic tax plan, at the United States Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Senator. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks about a proposed Democratic tax plan, at the United States Capitol on August 4, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Kevin Deitch/Getty Images)

The other 12 Republican senators who have agreed to advance the proposal are Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Tom Telles and Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Susan Collins of Maine , Mitt Romney of Utah, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, said on the Senate floor that the chamber “will move to the final aisle as soon as possible” and that he expects the bill to pass by the end of the week.

“Following the Senate’s approval of this bill, the House will quickly introduce it so we can send it to President Biden’s desk,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation if it is passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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