The Senate on Tuesday made meaningful progress toward passing the first major federal gun safety legislation in a generation.
Procedurally, the legislation still has a number of hurdles to clear in the Senate – it faces two more key votes to break a filibuster and then for final passage – but it has the support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Tuesday’s vote attracted more than the minimum 10 Republican votes that will be necessary to overcome a filibuster. It could pass the Senate by week’s end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, and would then go onto the House.
If passed, it would amount to the most significant new federal legislation to address gun violence since the expired 10-year assault weapons ban of 1994 – though it fails to ban any weapons and falls far short of what Democrats and polls show most Americans want to see.
“As the author of the Brady background checks bill, which passed in 1994, I’m pleased that for the first time in nearly 30 years, Congress is back on the path to take meaningful action to address gun violence,” Schumer said Tuesday night.
The bill 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.