The United States Senate on Tuesday approved stricter federal gun laws. A group of senators showed a bill that had been negotiated for weeks. This was prompted by the mass shootings in New York and Texas that recently took place in the United States.
The bill contains modest restrictions for new firearms. This concerns, for example, provisions that help states to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are considered a danger to themselves or others. Arms buyers between the ages of 18 and 21 are also subject to stricter background checks. Such an investigation looks at possible incidents in the past.
The bill is linked to an additional $15 billion for mental health services and investments in school safety.
A first procedural vote took place on Tuesday, on the basis of which the actual vote can be taken. The latter will happen at the end of this week or next week, according to Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer. Both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, will give their support, so that the vote will only be a formality.
President Biden is expected to sign a gun bill passed by both chambers. When the outline of the Senate deal was leaked last week, he stated: “Obviously this doesn’t include everything I think is necessary, but it reflects important steps in the right direction and it would represent key gun safety legislation that would Congress has passed in recent decades.”
Firearms in the US
- There are an estimated 350 to 400 million firearms in the country.
- 40 percent of Americans live in households with one or more firearms.
- 39,773 firearms deaths in 2017 (two thirds were suicide).
- Each state has its own gun laws.
- California has the strictest gun laws, Mississippi has the smoothest.