Congress passes bipartisan gun legislation, sending bill to Biden

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Congress passes first gun reform bill in decades

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The House on Friday approved bipartisan gun legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate late the night before, sending it to President Biden for his signature. It marks the most significant update to the nation’s gun laws in nearly three decades.

The bill, called The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, passed the lower chamber by a vote of 234-193, with 14 Republicans joining all the Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi read the vote tally after it concluded to applause from the members of Congress on the floor.

The bill enhances background checks for gun buyers under 21 years of age, provides billions of dollars for mental health services and to harden schools, and closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” to prevent convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a firearm for five years. The plan also provides $750 million in grants to incentivize states to implement crisis intervention programs, clarifies the definition of a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer and creates criminal penalties for straw purchases and gun trafficking.

Congress Guns
From left, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., listen as they attend an event on the steps of the U.S. Capitol about gun violence Friday, June 24, 2022.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP


The president has indicated he will sign the bill swiftly. 

The legislation’s passage by both chambers ends almost 30 years of inaction by Congress, which has been unable to find common ground on changes to federal firearms laws even amid a rise in gun violence and mass shootings across the nation. 

But after shootings in in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that left a…