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U.S. House passes gun control bill; Biden’s desk is next stop

The first major gun legislation in nearly three decades would incentivize states to pass red flag laws and expand background checks for 18- to 21-year-olds, among other measures.

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, the lead Republican negotiator, talks to reporters after giving a speech in support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, the lead Republican negotiator, talks to reporters after giving a speech in support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at the Capitol on Wednesday. Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill on gun safety 234 to 193 on Friday, exactly one month after a mass shooting in Texas took the lives of 19 children and 2 adults.

The Senate passed its version of the bill late on Thursday night by a 65-33 vote, and it now goes to President Joe Biden to sign into law. It is the first gun control measure to come out of Congress in nearly three decades.

The narrow bill focuses on mental health and school safety, and includes incentives for states to pass “red-flag laws.”

The legislation resulted from negotiations among 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats that began after two mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, in May.

“This bill is a compromise,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who led the negotiations, right before the Senate vote began. “It doesn’t do everything I want. But what we are doing will save thousands of lives without violating anyone’s Second Amendment rights.”

The Senate begins its two-week July 4 recess after Friday.

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