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Senate passes gun control bill and sends it to the House

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, the lead Republican negotiator, talks to reporters after giving a speech in support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The Senate passed a narrow, bipartisan bill that could become the first gun control measure to come out of Congress in nearly three decades, voting 65-33 late Thursday night.

The legislation resulted from negotiations among 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats that began after two mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, last month. Friday will mark one month since 19 children and two adults were killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

"This bill is a compromise," said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who led the negotiations, right before the vote began. "It doesn't do everything I want. But what we are doing will save thousands of lives without violating anyone's Second Amendment rights."

The legislation would incentivize states to pass red flag laws and expand background checks for 18- to 21-year-olds, among other measures.

House leaders are expected to quickly begin consideration of the bill. In a statement shortly after the Senate vote, President Biden urged the House to act quickly on the bill. The House and Senate begin their two-week July 4 recess after Friday.

"Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Families in Uvalde and Buffalo - and too many tragic shootings before - have demanded action. And tonight, we acted," the president said in a statement.

"This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it. The House of Representatives should promptly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk," Biden said.

The House and Senate are begin their two-week July 4 recess after Friday.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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