Washington, DC – President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan gun control legislation that was passed by Congress last week into law on Saturday morning despite the fact that it didn’t include many of the restrictions that his supporters wanted.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to pass the bipartisan gun control legislation already approved by the U.S. Senate and sent the bill to President Joe Biden for his signature, The Washington Post reported.
The legislation passed Congress on June 24, the one-month anniversary of the tragic massacre of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, ABC News reported.
The House voted 234-to-193 to pass the final version of the package that did not include the ban on so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines that President Biden had called for after the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo last month.
Fourteen Republican members voted to pass the legislation, according to ABC News.
The President praised the legislation despite it lacking the teeth that he has promised since his campaign.
“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans,” he said in a statement after the Senate passed the bill on June 23. “Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it.”
Fifteen GOP Senators supported the bipartisan bill, ABC News reported.
The legislation enhanced background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21 by requiring an “investigative period” during which mental health and juvenile criminal records will be review prior to making the sale.
However, it did not raise the age for purchases to 21 as Democrats had promised to do.
The bipartisan bill also closed the “boyfriend loophole” that allowed domestic violence offenders to purchase a gun if they didn’t live in the same household with or weren’t married to their domestic partners, ABC News reported.
Under the new law, anyone convicted of domestic violence in “serious” “dating relationships” won’t be able to purchase a gun for five years after the conviction.
The legislation allocated millions of dollars to states to pass “red flag” laws that remove guns from the possession of those who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others, ABC News reported.
It also put millions of dollars into intervention programs and mental health services.
The bill is the most sweeping gun control legislation to successfully pass Congress in 30 years, according to NBC News.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) praised the “strong bipartisan vote” the bill received.
“Every day, gun violence steals lives and scars communities — and this crisis demands urgent action,” Pelosi said in a statement. “While we must do more, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a step forward that will help protect our children and save lives.”
“I say to my colleagues: while it isn’t everything we would have liked to see in legislation, it takes us down the road, the path to more safety, saving lives,” the Speaker said. “Let us not judge the legislation for what it does not do, but respect it for what it does.”
The action on gun control in Congress came one day after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s restrictive handgun permitting law.
On June 23, the highest court in the land determined that a New York law that required residents to have “proper cause” in order to legally carry a handgun outside their homes violated Constitutional rights.
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 on Thursday to strike down the law, USA Today reported.
“New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms,” U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on behalf of the majority.
“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” Thomas continued, according to NBC News. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that the decision does not block states from mandating background checks, fingerprinting, mental health record checks, and other requirements before issuing handgun permits.
Kavanaugh said the problem with New York’s law was that it granted “open-ended discretion to licensing officials and authorizes licenses only for those applicants who can show some special need apart from self-defense,” NBC News reported.
As a result, citizens have been denied the right to carry a gun for self-protection.