The first Congressional action on gun control in nearly three decades is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk. With the support of all Democrats and 14 Republicans, the House on Friday passed the bipartisan bill 234-193, which is designed to make it more difficult for people to acquire firearms,
The legislation will require more stringent background checks on gun buyers under the age of 21 and allow authorities to look at juvenile police and mental health records from the age of 16. It also contributes federal funding to strengthen mental health programs across the country and security in schools. Further funding was provided to implement “red flag” laws that let officials temporarily confiscate guns from people that a court deems too dangerous to own them, as well as to strengthen laws against gun trafficking. The bill also helps shore up a ban on people convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing firearms, ending a technicality called the boyfriend loophole.
The bill—which represents a compromise between House Democrats and Republicans—passed the Senate on the same day as a Supreme Court decision reversed a century-old regulation in New York State that restricts concealed-carry permits to only those who show “proper cause.” Now, citizens will likely no longer have to prove a specific requirement to receive a permit, potentially increasing the public prevalence of firearms in the state, including in crowded city spaces—more on that here.