US Congress passes law to regulate firearms

QHours after the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke abortion rights, the US Congress passed legislation backed by members of both parties to enact the most significant gun control in nearly thirty years in a country plagued by shootings. After the Senate on Thursday, the House of Representatives approved a package of measures introducing new gun limitations and dedicating billions of dollars to mental health and school safety.

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The parliamentary initiative was launched after the Uvalde massacre, which killed 21 people including 19 children in a Texas elementary school at the end of May, and that of Buffalo in New York State, during which 10 black people were killed. were killed in a supermarket in mid-May. The text highlights in particular the support for laws, State by State, which would allow the weapons they possess to be removed from the hands of people deemed dangerous.

He also wants to strengthen criminal and psychological background checks for gun buyers between the ages of 18 and 21 and introduce better control of the illegal sale of weapons, and the funding of programs dedicated to mental health. But the proposed measures fall far short of what President Biden wanted, such as banning assault rifles. After a series of deadly shootings, the text is still a first for decades.

Divided Country

In a deeply divided America, an agreement in Congress between elected Democrats and Republicans is indeed rare, especially on this very divisive subject. Among the elected Republicans in the House, 14 exceeded the instructions of their leader Kevin McCarthy to vote in favor of the bill. The vote came the day after the Supreme Court – whose majority of judges are conservative – invalidated the “restrictions” on the carrying of weapons provided for since 1913 by a law of the State of New York.

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This long-awaited ruling clearly affirmed for the first time that Americans have the right to carry guns outside their homes. On Thursday, in reaction to the passing of the gun violence law, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the Upper House for “doing something that many thought was impossible a while ago.” weeks: we passed the first landmark law in thirty years on weapons safety”.

His Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell had estimated that this law would make the United States more secure “without making our country less free”. As soon as the text was unveiled, the NRA, the powerful arms lobby, expressed its opposition to the text, judging on the contrary that it could be used to “restrict the purchase of legal weapons”. The bill “leaves state officials too much leeway and also contains undefined and overbroad provisions, inviting interference with our constitutional freedoms,” she said in a statement.

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