The US Senate has passed a new gun law, with support from both Republicans and Democrats. It is the first substantial new federal gun control law since the 1990s.
The new gun law allows states to get funding to set up crisis centers to help people with mental health issues. Even states that are not supposedly red flagPassing laws that allow a judge to deprive someone of a gun if they pose a threat can get that funding.
The law also improves the national background check system for gun buyers. For example, states are urged to place more youth records in the system, so that gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21 can be better vetted.
Billions of dollars are also being made available to make schools safer and improve mental health facilities.
Biden: ‘Going in the right direction’
President Joe Biden called the bill “a step in the right direction.” He would have liked to pass a tougher gun law banning all fully automatic weapons, which are often used in mass shootings. However, the Senate disagreed.
The last major new federal gun control laws were passed in the mid-1990s. In 1993, the so-called Brady Act created a national background check system. In 1994, a ban on assault weapons, such as certain semi-automatic rifles and pistols, followed. However, this last law expired in 2004 and was not renewed.
New York’s strict gun law declared unfounded
The new law was passed the same day the Supreme Court ruled that a New York state law prohibiting the carrying of a firearm in public without a specific reason was unconstitutional.
Republicans and Democrats jointly negotiated the content of the new law after a total of 31 people died in shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas last month.