The Senate advanced a new gun control bill, moving to formally begin debate on the legislation. The move had the support of 14 Republicans, more than enough to overcome the 60-vote threshold to pass in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes to bring the bill to a final vote before Senators leave for a two-week recess for July 4th.
The 80-page bill, which was released just hours before the vote, expands background checks for gun buyers who are under 21, provides $750 million to states to implement red flag laws and provides additional funds for school safety and mental health services. The legislation also closes the so-called "boyfriend loophole" by prohibiting somebody convicted of domestic violence against an intimate partner. In addition, the legislation creates new penalties for straw purchasers and requires more gun sellers to register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers.
"Today, we finalized bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect America's children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country," Sens. Chris Murphy and John Cornyn said in a joint statement.
"Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American's Second Amendment rights. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense legislation into law," they added.
The 14 Republican Senators who voted to advance the bill included Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Shelley Moore Capito, Joni Ernst, Lisa Murkowski, Todd Young, Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, Rob Portman, Lindsey Graham, and Roy Blunt.