Fifteen Republicans helped pass a bipartisan bill to curb gun violence on Thursday, a group that included the GOP’s senate leader and one member of the Utah delegation.
The Republican senators joined the Senate Democrats “to break through their party’s longstanding blockade of gun safety measures and shatter nearly three decades of congressional paralysis on toughening the nation’s gun laws,” according to The New York Times.
Which Republicans voted for the Senate gun bill?
The final vote was 65-33. Fifteen Republican senators, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, voted for the bill.
The 15 Republican senators who supported the bill were:
- Roy Blunt, Missouri
- Richard Burr, North Carolina
- Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
- Bill Cassidy. Louisiana
- Susan Collins, Maine
- John Cornyn, Texas
- Joni Ernst, Iowa
- Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
- Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
- Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
- Rob Portman, Ohio
- Mitt Romney, Utah
- Thom Tillis, North Carolina
- Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania
- Todd Young, Indiana
On Tuesday, Utah’s other senator, Mike Lee, voted against debating the bill.
As CNN notes, four of those Republicans — Blunt, Burr, Portman and Toomey — are retiring this year.
According to The Associated Press, McConnell said “the American people want their constitutional rights protected and their kids to be safe in school.
“They want both of those things at once, and that is just what the bill before the Senate will have accomplished.”
What’s in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act?
The bill, called the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, now moves on to the House of Representatives.
According to The New York Times, the bill includes the following:
- “Enhance(d) background checks for prospective gun buyers ages 18 to 21, requiring for the first time that juvenile records, including mental health records beginning at age 16, be vetted for potentially disqualifying material.”
- “Incentives for states to pass ‘red flag’ laws that allow guns to be temporarily confiscated from people deemed by a judge to be too dangerous to possess them.”
According to The Associated Press, the bill would also “keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders. ... It would also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.”
What’s not in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act?
According to the Deseret News, “the legislation does not ban assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines.”
According to The New York Times, “the proposal falls far short of legislation that has passed the House that would ban anyone under the age of 21 from buying a semiautomatic weapon.” The toughened background check requirements will expire after 10 years, and “there is a limit on how long authorities would be able to reach back into a buyer’s mental health history,” per The New York Times.
“This is not a cure-all for the all the ways gun violence affects our nation,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “But it is a long overdue step in the right direction.”