Senators from the Republican and Democratic parties have agreed to give passage to a bipartisan legislation aimed to curb gun violence in the United States. The landmark bill comes roughly a month after the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas. More than 20 people were killed.
Nearly 29 years after the Senate last enacted a major firearms law, lawmakers released the 80-page bill nine days after agreeing to a framework for the plan. The legislation is also being created parallel to ongoing primary elections, raising the stakes for some legislators.
What is in the bill?
The legislation would toughen background checks for the youngest firearms buyers, require more sellers to conduct background checks and beef up penalties on gun traffickers. It also would disburse money to states and communities aimed at improving school safety and mental health initiatives.
One steep change that would be introduced is for convicted domestic abusers, who would not be allowed to purchase firearms. Earlier, only convicted domestic abusers who were married were prohibited from owning guns.
The upcoming legislation would also provide $750 million to the 19 states that have “red flag” laws, which enable law enforcement officers to confiscate firearms if flagged by someone. States with “red flag” laws that receive the funds would have to have legal processes for the gun owner to fight the firearm’s removal, Associated Press reported.
Capitol Hill officials said that the new measure to curb gun violence is likely to cost roughly $15 billion, an amount that would reportedly be fully paid by the US Congress.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader and a Democrat, said that the upper legislative house may approve the bill later this week. The bill would then go to the US House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by the Democrats.