Cornyn-Murphy gun bill gets final passage

What great timing, huh?

Exactly one month after a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers in a Uvalde elementary school, the most significant new gun laws in decades were headed to President Joe Biden’s desk on Friday after the U.S. House cleared a bipartisan package of reforms requiring greater scrutiny of young buyers, closing the so-called boyfriend loophole and more.

The gun laws, authored by a group of senators including John Cornyn of Texas, easily passed the Democratic-controlled House on a 234-193 vote, just hours after 15 Senate Republicans joined every Democrat in approving the bill in the Senate late Thursday night. Biden is expected to sign the bill into law.

“When I met with families from Uvalde, they asked me how it was possible for the man who murdered their loved ones to get a dangerous weapon so easily,” U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro said in a statement. “Today, Congress has voted to pass historic gun safety reforms that will save lives and keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who present a clear danger to their communities. We need to make more progress on gun safety, but today’s vote is an important step forward.”

It is the first tightening of federal gun laws since 1994. It bolsters background checks on buyers under 21 years old and restricts access to firearms for dating partners convicted of domestic abuse. The bill creates stiffer penalties for gun trafficking and “straw” purchasing, in which someone buys a firearm for someone prohibited from owning one.

The legislation also provides funding for mental health programs, school security and for states to enact red flag laws or other intervention methods meant to stop shootings before they happen.

Just 14 Republicans voted for the bill in the House, where GOP leaders had urged members to oppose the legislation. Only one Texan was among them: U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales of San Antonio, whose district includes Uvalde. The rest opposed the legislation.

See here for the background. It would be nice to feel good about this, even as watered down as this bill is, but with SCOTUS on a rampage, it’s hard to feel good about anything. The fact that this got initial passage in the Senate on the same day that SCOTUS essentially declared all state gun control measures to be illegal was the kind of irony none of us needed. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before a federal lawsuit is filed to invalidate even this modest effort, and who would take a bet on those plaintiffs losing? But here we are anyway. If we can ever find our way to fixing the courts, we can improve on this and do a lot more besides. One step at a time. The Trib has more.

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6 Responses to Cornyn-Murphy gun bill gets final passage

  1. Ross says:

    Kuff, SCOTUS did not declare all state gun control measures illegal. That decision merely says that if you are going to issue permits to carry firearms, then the criteria for issuance have to be objective, and not subject to the whim of a bureaucrat deciding whether or not you have a “legitimate reason”. When some functionary gets to decide, you get situations as in California, where Sean Penn, despite several run ins with law enforcement, was issued a carry license, but a woman whose ex boyfriend was stalking her and threatening to kill her was told to “call police” and denied a license to carry. She was killed by the ex-boyfriend.

  2. C.L. says:

    Guns good, people bad.

  3. Pingback: Biden signs modest gun control bill – Off the Kuff

  4. Manny says:

    Ross an example of one incident does not make for a good argument.

  5. Ross says:

    Manny, it’s an example that demonstrates what happens when decisions like these are left to the discretion of a bureaucrat instead of being made objectively. There is not enough room here to write about thousands of similar occurrences.

    The point of the decision in this case is that states should have objective rules for issuing carry permits, and take the discretion out of the hands of functionaries that may be biased or inconsistent. The Texas experience with shall issue CHL ahs been very good, with the rate of criminality of CHL holders far below the average level of the population as a while.

  6. Manny says:

    Ross as of last year, you don’t need a license to carry.

    I would be very happy going back to the 1950s gun laws of Texas.

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