Pelosi promises next steps on gun violence Friday morning

Distributed by The Hill

The House will take up the Senate’s enacted gun safety bill “first thing” on Friday morning, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who made the announcement on Thursday.

The Rules Committee will convene first thing tomorrow morning to move this crucial legislation to the Floor. Minutes after the Senate passed the resolution, Pelosi said in a statement, “We will move straight to the Floor when the Rules Committee concludes its business.

In appreciation for his leadership, she continued, “and we will present the law to President Biden for his signature.

By a vote of 65-33 late on Thursday night, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The legislation was approved by all Democrats and 15 Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

President Biden asked the House to “promptly vote” on the legislation “and deliver it to my desk” on Thursday night after the Senate decision.

Biden indicated that he would sign the legislation into law earlier this month after Senate negotiators unveiled the outline of their firearm proposal, stating in a statement that “the sooner it arrives to my desk, the sooner I can sign it, and the sooner we can implement these measures to save lives.”

In reaction to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, the 80-page gun safety measure has nine provisions to reduce gun violence.

The proposed law would strengthen background checks for those purchasing firearms between the ages of 18 and 21, allocate funds for red flag laws and other intervention programs, and close the so-called boyfriend loophole by prohibiting those who have been convicted of a misdemeanor violent crime against a current or former romantic partner from purchasing firearms.

Additionally, it enhances penalties for people who traffic in weapons or buy them through dubious means, supports the community mental health services pilot program, and clarifies who is regarded as a gun dealer.

The vote will end weeks of discussions between members of the two parties that started following the massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, and it is certain to succeed because Democrats now have the majority in the House.

At a grocery store in Buffalo last month, ten Black people were shot and killed. Then, ten days later, a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two adults.

The scheduled House vote occurs precisely one month after the shooting in Uvalde.

The House enacted a comprehensive gun package earlier this month that included provisions to increase the age requirement to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 and outlaw high-capacity magazines. The chamber also adopted a bill to nationalize red flag legislation, which aim to prevent those who pose a threat to others or themselves from having access to firearms.

The vote in the House is already looking to be a bipartisan one when Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), who represents the district that contains Uvalde, announced on Wednesday that he will support the legislation.

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