LYNCHBURG, Va. – The U.S. Senate took a major step Thursday by passing bipartisan gun reform legislation with a 65-34 vote, which included the votes of 15 Republicans to push it forward.
The bill includes grants offered to states for red flag laws and crisis prevention programs, enhances background checks for young Americans aged 18 to 21, opens the door to accessing juvenile records, and it toughens penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine called the legislation ‘common sense.’
“America suffers from an unacceptable, real public-health emergency of gun violence; but we can’t be despondent and say there’s nothing we can do. Because if you do the right thing, you can make your community safer,” said Kaine.
The bill required 60 votes to bypass a GOP filibuster and now sets up a vote on the final passage this week.
If passed, it would go through the House before being signed into law.