‘And tonight, we acted’: US Prez Biden as Senate OKs historic gun control bill | World News

‘And tonight, we acted’: US Prez Biden as Senate OKs historic gun control bill | World News

United States president Joe Biden on Friday said lawmakers had finally responded to the demands of families whose loved ones had died in various tragic shootings over the past years by clearing legislation ‘to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities’. The Senate late Thursday approved a bipartisan bill with a narrow package of new firearms restrictions and billions of dollars in mental health and school security funding. Biden said the legislation would help protect children in schools and make communities safer and called on the House to ‘send it to my desk’.

The House of Representatives, the lower body in the US legislative structure, is expected to quickly begin consideration of the bill, NPR reported. Once passed by the House, Biden can sign it into law.

“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and too many tragic shootings before – have demanded action. And tonight, we acted,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it. The House of Representatives should promptly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk.”

Biden has repeatedly pushed for more substantial reforms on gun control, including a reinstatement of the ban on assault rifles – which were used in both the Texas and New York shootings – and high-capacity magazines.

He has also criticised the United States Supreme Court for having struck down a New York state law restricting people from carrying guns in public without a permit. “This ruling contradicts common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all,” he said.

Both Democrats and the Republicans – have hailed this reform as ‘historic’.

“The gun safety bill we are passing tonight can be described with three adjectives: bipartisan, common sense, lifesaving,” Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, said.

His Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell said it would make America safer ‘without making our country one bit less free’.

The bill is significant because it comes after two deadly incidents in recent months – a supermarket shooting in New York and a school shooting in Texas that left a combined 31 people dead.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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