Tuesday, August 9, 2022

US House passes gun-safety legislation as court expands gun rights

US House passes gun-safety legislation as court expands gun rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US House of Representatives passed significant gun-safety legislation for the first time in three decades, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign, a day after a Supreme Court ruling that broadly expanded gun rights.

The House voted 234-193 for the bill. No Democrats were opposed, while 14 Republicans backed the measure. It was supported by major law enforcement groups and its passage was a rare defeat for US gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.

House action followed a late Thursday Senate vote of 65-33 to pass the bill, with 15 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in favor.

Biden will sign the bill on Saturday morning, the White House said.

Gun control has long been a divisive issue in the United States with multiple attempts to place new controls on gun sales failing time after time until Friday.

The bill does not go as far as Democrats, including Biden, had sought. It includes provisions that would help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and close the so-called boyfriend loophole by blocking gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners. However, it did not ban sales of assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines.

House action followed a late Thursday Senate vote of 65-33 to pass the bill, with 15 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in favor.

Biden will sign the bill on Saturday morning, the White House said.

Gun control has long been a divisive issue in the United States with multiple attempts to place new controls on gun sales failing time after time until Friday.

The bill does not go as far as Democrats, including Biden, had sought. It includes provisions that would help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and close the so-called boyfriend loophole by blocking gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners. However, it did not ban sales of assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines.

"The legislation ... includes several strong steps to save lives, not only from horrific mass shootings but also from the daily massacre of gun crime, suicide and tragic accidents," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during debate.

The bill does take some steps on background checks by allowing access, for the first time, to information on significant crimes committed by juveniles. It also cracks down on gun sales to purchasers convicted of domestic violence. It provides new federal funding to states that administer "red flag" laws intended to remove guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves and others.