Washington [US]: The US Senate on Thursday night passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence in the United States, the first major piece of federal gun reform in almost 30 years.
The final vote was 65 to 33 with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in the US.
The bill will now go to the House for a vote and it could take up the bill as early as Friday, before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
The bill comes with a USD 13.2 billion price tag and it includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The vote on the federal gun safety bill comes on the same day as the Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law regulating concealed handguns in public that mandated residents demonstrate a specific need to carry a handgun outside of the home.
More than 390 million guns are owned by civilians in the US. In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died from firearms-related injuries including homicides and suicides.
This move comes at a time of heightened support for gun control following a string of high-profile mass shootings.
The May 24 massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers, was the bloodiest mass shooting in the United States this year, which occurred only 10 days after another shooting that killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.