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Landmark gun-safety bill heads to House after Senate passage

It is the first major gun-control legislation to pass in three decades in a country with the highest gun ownership per capita in the world and the highest number of mass shootings annually among wealthy nations.

A gun control rally for gun legislation is held outside the United States Capitol in Washington
Demonstrators attend a rally of gun violence prevention organisations, gun violence survivors and hundreds of gun safety supporters demanding gun legislation, outside the United States Capitol in Washington, on June 8, 2022.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — A gun-safety bill that marked rare bipartisan cooperation as it passed the U.S. Senate was poised for approval by the House of Representatives on Friday on its way to President Joe Biden's desk.

The Senate bill, passed in a 65-33 vote late Thursday, is a modest package of measures to toughen federal gun laws, weeks after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, that killed more than 30 people, including 19 children. Fifteen Republicans joined all 50 Senate Democrats in voting for passage.

More on guns in America
The bill that narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives would make it a crime to sell, manufacture or possess semiautomatic assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
It was my turn to scroll to the news feed that popped up on my phone regarding a mass shooting near Chicago on July 4. It was my turn to hold my breath while trying to figure out if this happened where my daughter and her family were going to watch their parade just outside of Chicago.
“They took my guns,” a phrase never uttered by any gun owner that is legally entitled to own a gun. And never will be.
The deeply divided House voted 217-203 -- with no Republicans in support -- to advance the bill toward passage, after the Senate passed the legislation late on Thursday.
The court's conservative majority said in a 6-3 ruling that the Constitution puts these decisions in the hands of gun owners, not with local officials, county sheriffs or others who fear that too many guns on the street are a threat to public safety.
The bill would increase background checks for would-be gun buyers aged 18 to 21 by providing law enforcement more time to do the checks and incentivizing states to provide juvenile records to the analysis.
The NRA says they will support anything that doesn’t encroach on the Second Amendment. That means they will not accept compromises.
North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer speaks about recent controversies about his comments about red flag laws, the gun control debate in general, what we can do about high gas prices, and the on-going Jan. 6 committee hearings.
A few words to the not-so-wise. My conservative friends, if you consider an AR15 to be synonymous with the Second Amendment, you may well be watching defeat from the jaws of victory in the midterm elections.
We had free access to guns when I was growing up. Common gun sense ruled the country. There was seldom the kind of mass shootings of kids as we see occurring today.

It is the first major gun-control legislation to pass in three decades in a country with the highest gun ownership per capita in the world and the highest number of mass shootings annually among wealthy nations.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded the bill's passage and said in a statement that her chamber would take up the bill "first thing" on Friday, with a vote coming as soon as possible.

The legislation would tighten background checks for potential gun buyers with prior domestic violence convictions or significant juvenile criminal records as well as increase funding for school security and mental health programs.

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House Republicans urged members to vote against it, but in a chamber controlled by Democrats, their support is not needed for passage.

Biden has said that he will sign the bill into law.

(Reporting by Katharine Jackson; editing by Mark Porter.)

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