U.S. President Joe Biden Signs Gun Control Bill
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden signed Saturday the most sweeping gun control bill in nearly 30 years after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation. “Lives will be saved,” he said at the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims, the president said: “Their message to us was to do something. Well, today, we did.”
The House voted 234-193 for the bill. No Democrats were opposed, while 14 Republicans backed the measure. Major law enforcement groups supported it, and its passage was a rare defeat for U.S. gun manufacturers and the influential National Rifle Association.
The vote came a day after a Supreme Court ruling that broadly expanded gun rights despite objections from President Joe Biden after several mass shootings killed many, including children.
Though the bill was primarily opposed by Republicans in the House, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backed the law.
McConnell said the legislation “will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
The legislation encourages states to pass more restrictive laws and expand background checks for 18- to 21-year-olds.
The new law will create incentives for states to release previously sealed juvenile records and could add several days to the waiting period before a gun purchase can be made. It will also make it more difficult for dating partners to obtain weapons if they are convicted of abuse.
Critics say that the new bill may not be enough to stop incidents such as two recent mass shootings in Texas or New York. Both shooters were 18 years old and legally purchased AR-15-style rifles in the lead-up to their attacks.
One of them, Payton Gendron, accused of shooting and killing 10 Black people and wounding three others in a hate crime in Buffalo, New York, had been evaluated for mental health concerns in 2021.
“Where were the red flags for him to be able to purchase these guns legally?” Erie County, New York, Sheriff John Garcia was reportedly questioned after the shooting last month. It was unclear if the newest push to reveal juvenile records could help prevent a similar sale in the future.
The bill underscored deep divisions in American society about the right to own weapons and added to a tense debate.
The National Rifle Association, the nation’s most powerful gun lobby, called the law a “senseless” gun control measure that “will only infringe on the rights of the law-abiding citizens.
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