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Landmark gun-safety bill heads to House after Senate passage

It is the first major gun-control legislation to pass in three decades in a country with the highest gun ownership per capita in the world and the highest number of mass shootings annually among wealthy nations.

A gun control rally for gun legislation is held outside the United States Capitol in Washington
Demonstrators attend a rally of gun violence prevention organisations, gun violence survivors and hundreds of gun safety supporters demanding gun legislation, outside the United States Capitol in Washington, on June 8, 2022.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — A gun-safety bill that marked rare bipartisan cooperation as it passed the U.S. Senate was poised for approval by the House of Representatives on Friday on its way to President Joe Biden's desk.

The Senate bill, passed in a 65-33 vote late Thursday, is a modest package of measures to toughen federal gun laws, weeks after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, that killed more than 30 people, including 19 children. Fifteen Republicans joined all 50 Senate Democrats in voting for passage.

More on guns in America
Neither descriptions of the suspect nor information on how many suspects may have been involved was provided by authorities.
“Life sentences are reserved for the most heinous of crimes," said Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema.
The suspect allegedly admitted that he fired one round, but denied pointing the firearm directly at any victims.
The order in South Dakota was in response to a federal order issued Tuesday by President Joe Biden.
One victim in Hartford was able to provide authorities with the identity of his alleged shooter, which led to a strong police response at the suspect's home in northeastern Sioux Falls.
The deeply divided House voted 217-203 -- with no Republicans in support -- to advance the bill toward passage, after the Senate passed the legislation late on Thursday.
The court's conservative majority said in a 6-3 ruling that the Constitution puts these decisions in the hands of gun owners, not with local officials, county sheriffs or others who fear that too many guns on the street are a threat to public safety.
The bill would increase background checks for would-be gun buyers aged 18 to 21 by providing law enforcement more time to do the checks and incentivizing states to provide juvenile records to the analysis.
Weeks after the Uvalde school shooting, what steps the country will take to prevent another attack of this magnitude remain unclear. Frustrated doctors are clamoring for broad measures to curb the rise in gun violence.
Authors report that mass shootings cause almost six people to be injured for every one person killed, with 44% leaving disabled and carrying $65,000 in average hospital charges. Emergency medicine experts say AR-15 style weapons create extreme increase in bodily damage.

It is the first major gun-control legislation to pass in three decades in a country with the highest gun ownership per capita in the world and the highest number of mass shootings annually among wealthy nations.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded the bill's passage and said in a statement that her chamber would take up the bill "first thing" on Friday, with a vote coming as soon as possible.

The legislation would tighten background checks for potential gun buyers with prior domestic violence convictions or significant juvenile criminal records as well as increase funding for school security and mental health programs.

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House Republicans urged members to vote against it, but in a chamber controlled by Democrats, their support is not needed for passage.

Biden has said that he will sign the bill into law.

(Reporting by Katharine Jackson; editing by Mark Porter.)

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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