Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on June 14. In a filibuster-proof vote Thursday, the Senate advanced gun reform legislation with support from 15 Republican senators. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
June 23 (UPI) -- The Senate on Thursday set up a final vote on the bipartisan gun law reform bill by advancing the bill with a filibuster-proof 65-34 vote.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., and 14 other GOP senators joined a unanimous Democratic caucus to advance the legislation.
The Senate bill has President Joe Biden's backing.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a Tuesday statement that while it doesn't include all that he wanted, the bill ends a three-decades-long logjam on gun safety legislation.
"This legislation will strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. It also makes a historic investment in mental health and much-needed support services for students," Murphy said in the statement.
The gun law reform in the Senate closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, aimed at preventing convicted domestic abusers and people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from buying guns. It would also fund "red flag" laws allowing authorities to remove firearms from people found to be a threat to themselves or others.
The bill also provides $8 billion in funding for mental health services, school safety officers and efforts to improve security at schools.
The bill requires people that buy and sell a large number of guns for profit to be federal firearm licensees and that means they would be required to do background checks for gun transactions.
As the Senate gun bill advances, House GOP leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., are urging their caucus to vote against the bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised the Senate bill in a written statement.
"I support the bill text that Senator Cornyn and our colleagues have produced. ... Our colleagues have put together a commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," McConnell's statement said.
As the Senate gun bill advanced, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York state's gun law, ruling that it violates the Constitution.
"This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all," Biden said in a White House statement. "In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society -- not less -- to protect our fellow Americans."