The US Senate on Thursday passed the most significant gun control legislation in three decades, in response to several recent mass shootings that have rocked the nation and left dozens dead.
The United States is the country with the highest gun ownership – with some 120.5 guns owned per 100 people, according to world population review. On average, that’s more than one gun per American.
At least 279 people have died in mass shootings in America so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks such incidents through police reports and other public sources. Just last month, a shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and another at an elementary school in Texas left 21 dead, including 19 children.
The new gun control legislation comes just hours after the Republican-dominated Supreme Court ruled Americans have a constitutional right to carry handguns in public for self-defense, exposing a deep divide in attitudes toward gun control in the United States. This decision was adopted by 6-3.
The Senate vote on gun control, which passed 65 to 33, will bring legislation to tighten background checks on potential gun buyers convicted of domestic violence or serious crimes in childhood.
Supported by the President
“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Children in schools and communities will be safer because of this,” President Joe Biden said after the vote. “The House of Representatives should vote quickly on this bipartisan bill and send it to my office.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement late Thursday that the bill would be presented to the prosecutor’s office “first thing tomorrow morning.”
Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, said he was “proud” of the “two historic victories” of the Senate and the Supreme Court which struck down a gun law on Thursday.
Although the legislation is likely to pass, many Republicans have refused to compromise on tougher gun control, which is favored by many Democrats.
Of the 65 lawmakers who voted for the legislation, 15 of them were Republicans. Here is the full list of Republicans who voted for the settlement.
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Bill Cassidy (R-AL)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Mitt Romney (R-UT)
Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Pat Toomey (R-AP)
Todd Young (R-IN)