After weeks of negotiating, fifteen Senate Republicans and fourteen House Republicans voted with Democrats to send the most wide-ranging gun control bill in over three decades to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Biden signed the bill into law just one day after it cleared the House, which took it up mere hours after the Senate approved it.
According to The Hill:
“Time is of the essence. Lives will be saved,” Biden said, adding that when he returns from a trip to Europe, he will host the lawmakers who worked on the legislation and family members of gun violence victims at the White House.
Biden, who said today is a “monumental day,” thanked the leaders in Congress who got the bill across the finish line and thanked the families of victims, who the president and the first lady have met with.
“I’ve been at this work for a long, long time and I know how hard it is and I know what is takes to get it done,” he said.
The bill, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, enhances background checks for gun purchasers between the age of 18 and 21, makes obtaining firearms through straw purchases or trafficking a federal offense and clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearm dealer.
It allocates $750 million to help states administer red flag laws, which seek to keep guns away from people deemed a threat to themselves or others, and other intervention programs, and it includes funding for mental health treatment.
Additionally, it closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by barring individuals from possessing a firearm for at least five years if they are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence involving a current or former romantic partner. It extends the law that previously only applied to abuse against spouses, a person they share a child with or a cohabitating partner.
Less than an hour after signing the law, Biden departed for the Group of Seven Summit in Germany.