The Senate on June 23 passed a bipartisan package of gun control measures after breaking a filibuster in the chamber earlier in the day.
The final Senate floor vote on the 80-page legislation, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, was 65–33. The vote had been expected to be held before a two-week July 4 recess. Earlier in the day, 15 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold on the measure.
The 15 Republican senators who supported the bill in the final floor vote are Sens Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
The legislation comes on the heels of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, which killed 10 people, and Uvalde, Texas, which killed 21 people, 19 of whom were children. Both shooters were 18 years old.
Lead Senate negotiators of the bill, Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Cornyn, and Tillis, said in a statement on June 21 upon releasing the text of the legislation that it would “protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country.”
Both GOP Leader McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) support the bill.
Earlier this week, McConnell called the measure a “commonsense package” and rejected concerns of Republican members who oppose the legislation on gun rights grounds. He also said the measure will “protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Schumer hailed the move while suggesting more needs to be done.
“We are passing the first significant gun safety bill in nearly 30 years,” Schumer on Thursday said on the Senate floor.