Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delivers remarks with fellow Democrats at a rally before voting on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo
June 24 (UPI) -- The House on Friday approved gun violence legislation passed by the Senate, fast-tracking the measure to President Joe Biden to sign.
The bill, sparked by recent mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas, -- the latter of which happened exactly one month ago -- comes against the backdrop of a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that struck down New York gun permit legislation and expanded concealed-carry rights.
The $13 billion Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the first comprehensive guns legislation passed by Congress in nearly 30 years.
The Senate advanced the bill Thursday with a filibuster-proof 65-34 vote. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and 14 other GOP senators joined a unanimous Democratic caucus to move it forward.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she would "swiftly" bring the legislation to the floor, the House voted 234-193 -- with 14 Republicans voting yes -- to approve the bill. It will now be sent to Biden's desk for his signature.
The bill includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The measure makes changes to the process when someone age 18 to 21 goes to buy a firearm, cuts off the so-called "boyfriend loophole" and encourages states to create or enhance red flag laws.
"This is a compromise," Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., told ABC News. "Surely not everything I want, and it's not everything Republicans want. But it's the first opportunity we've had in decades to do something worthwhile to prevent gun violence."
While the bill is the first to make it all the way through Congress in three decades, it's not the first one the House has passed in that time -- a bill passed earlier this month would raise the age for purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 and ban ghost guns, among other provisions aimed at reducing gun deaths.
Some Democrats said the newly approved bill doesn't go far enough.
But McConnell said in a statement Thursday -- after encouraging Republicans to vote for it -- that it is a solid middle ground.
"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 said.
The Senate's approval Thursday of the law followed a Supreme Court decision declaring laws in some states with strong restrictions on conceal carry licenses to be unconstitutional.
The case challenged a 100-year-old law in New York requiring those seeking to carry a firearm outside of their home to demonstrate a "special need for self-defense."
A demonstrator holds an "ENOUGH" flag on the National Mall during a March For Our Lives demonstration against gun violence in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo