Washington (US), June 24: The US Senate has passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence in the United States, the first major federal gun law in almost 30 years.
On Thursday, the final vote was 65 to 33 with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the reform, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in the US.
Before being sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law, the bill will now go to the House for a vote, which may happen as soon as this Friday.
With a price tag of USD 13.2 billion, the bill contains millions of dollars for mental health, school security, crisis intervention initiatives, and incentives for states to add juvenile records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The development 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.
Over 390 million guns are owned by civilians in the US. More than 45,000 Americans died from gun-related injuries, including homicides and suicides, in 2020 alone.
Following a spate of high-profile mass shootings, there is greater support than ever for gun control measures.
The deadliest mass shooting in American history took place on May 24 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. This tragedy came just 10 days after another shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.