On Tuesday, the Senate cleared one of the first bipartisan gun control laws in the country.
The measure aimed at keeping firearms out of individuals who are considered dangerous, and seeks to help end mass shootings in the country, and make it harder for certain individuals to buy a firearm. A 64-to-34 vote came after Republicans and Democrats hammered out negotiations and compromises to pass the legislation.
This bill calls for funding for states to implement “red flag” laws, which are laws that grant the power to remove a firearm from people considered a threat. The bill also features $15 billion in federal funding for mental health programs and increased school security around the country.
OSU student, Carman Montgomery, said she thinks that increased security in schools is a great thing.
“It is clear that there is a problem,” Montgomery said. “While I don’t think banning firearms in the country is the answer, it is reassuring to see that they are doing what they can to help protect students and teachers.”
This bill is the first time in decades that a bipartisan agreement has been reached regarding gun safety. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the passing of the bill, “real progress.”
Claire Stolfa, an incoming senior, said she thinks this is only the first step for real gun control safety.
“It’s a great start,” Stolfa said. “More needs to be done in this country to help prevent these mass attacks from happening. I appreciate that they are trying to protect schools, but as of now there doesn’t seem to be any real gun control measures, just basic background checks and increased funding for safety.”
Though the bill passed with bipartisan agreement, President Biden said that these proposals were “steps in the right direction,” but more still needs to be done. Senate democrats have proposed firearm legislation for years, but with 13 Republican senators' support, this is the first piece of gun legislation to pass since 1994.
Though this bill does not provide any restrictive protections against assault rifles, Democrats say they are hopeful this will be a step towards more helpful laws.
The United States is the leading population for mass shootings in the entire world. Though states like New York have already proposed and signed stronger gun-control laws, this bill would make it a national requirement to implement background checks for assault rifle purchases, and prevent citizens who are potentially dangerous from possessing a firearm.