U.S. senator advances gun safety bill, as supreme Court lowers handgun limit

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Daniel Marino
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New York State Senator Chris Murphy's Gun Safety Bill Could Change Gun Control Laws

Despite recent tragedies‚ a number of lawmakers are still fighting for better gun control laws. Among the most prominent of these is New York state senator Chris Murphy. Although his efforts have been unsuccessful‚ his gun safety bill could still have an impact on our country. Let's take a closer look at Murphy's proposal. The bill would require universal background checks for gun sales and a ban on purchasing guns if a person is on a federal watchlist.

Andrew Chung and David Morgan WASHINGTON‚ (Reuters) – A bipartisan package of gun safety measures was passed in the U.S. Senate Thursday. The Supreme Court expanded gun rights broadly by stating that Americans are entitled to possess handguns in public places for self-defense. This landmark Supreme Court ruling and the Senate's action regarding gun safety highlight the wide-ranging differences in America over guns. It comes weeks after the mass shootings that killed nearly 30 Americans in Uvalde (Texas) and Buffalo (New York)‚ as well as 19 children. Sen. Bill‚ which is supported by many‚ would save lives. It tightens background checks on potential gun buyers who have been convicted of serious crimes or domestic violence as children. It does not contain sweeping gun control measures that Democrats‚ including President Joe Biden‚ favor such as bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. The ruling by the 6-3 conservative-majority Supreme Court struck down New York states limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home. This law was enacted in 1913 and violated a person's Second Amendment right to keep an arms. The Senate passed the gun safety bill 65 to 34. This vote was the final one on the passage of the legislation. It could be voted on later today or Friday. This vote will set the stage for debate that could last up to 30 hours. Democrats called on Republicans to speed up the process. This Senate action came just weeks after Biden's passionate speech in which he called for legislation to take immediate action and declared enough gun violence. According to polls‚ the majority of Americans favor new restrictions on firearms. These demands typically increase after mass shootings such as those in Texas or New York. Democrats warn that this high court decision could have serious consequences for national gun safety. In an interview‚ Senator Chris Murphy (lead Democratic negotiator for the gun safety legislation) stated that the Supreme Court erred in interpreting the decision. Murphy said that he is deeply concerned about the court's willingness to remove elected bodies from the power to protect their constituents. This has serious implications for safety in the country. Murphy hails from Connecticut‚ where a mass shooting at an elementary school killed 26 people. Conservatives support a wide reading of the Second Amendment. They claim it limits new restrictions on gun purchase. Senate's bipartisan‚ 80-page Safer Communities Act encourages states to prevent guns from being in the hands of dangerous people and to tighten background checks on potential gun buyers convicted of serious crimes such as domestic violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive (a non-profit research organization)‚ more than 208‚000 people died in gun violence incidents in the United States in 2022. This includes suicide and homicide. It isn't the panacea for gun violence in our country. It is an important step forward. In a speech on the floor‚ Chuck Schumer‚ top senator Democrat said that it was significant and will save lives. MONUMENTAL GUN ADVOCATES WIN Justice Clarence Thomas of the conservative Justice Clarence wrote the Supreme Court decision that the Constitution protected an individual's right to keep a gun for self-defense. Jason Ouimet (executive director‚ National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action)‚ stated that this is a significant win for NRA members as well as gun owners throughout the country. The ruling allows for the possibility of rightly changing the law in seven states which do not recognize personal firearm protection. The Senate Republican Backers of the New Gun Safety Bill SAID That the Measure Does Not Affect Law-Abiding Gun Owners‚ Who are their Most Passionate Constituents. The legislation does not even touch on the rights of the vast majority of American gun owners who are law-abiding citizens with sound minds‚ stated Mitch McConnell (Senate Republican Leader). This bill would provide funding for states to adopt red flag laws that prevent firearms from being taken away from people deemed to be a threat to their safety or the lives of others. The bill would fund other intervention measures for states that oppose red flag laws and enhance school security. This law closes the loophole in boyfriend purchases by prohibiting gun sales to people convicted of sexual abuse to intimate partners. It also allows states to include juvenile criminal records and mental health records into national background checks databases. Last week‚ Senator John Cornyn was heckled as he spoke out about the contents of the bill during his speech to a Republican Party convention held in Texas. Reporting by David Morgan‚ Andrew Chung and Rose Horowitch; Additional reporting by Katharine Jackson and Richard Cowan; Editing done by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell.