United States President Joe Biden on Saturday, 25 June, signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first significant federal bill on gun control in the country in decades.
The president, according to AFP, said that while the bill fell short of what's really needed to curtail gun violence and mass shootings in the US, it would "save lives." The law falls short of banning the sale of assault weapons, however.
"While this bill doesn't do everything I want, it does include actions I've long called for that are going to save lives," he said at the White House before leaving for diplomatic summits in Europe.
'Tonight, We Acted'
Some of the major provisions of the law are:
Establishing a national background check system with enhanced background checks for buyers under 21
$11 billion in mental health funding
$2 billion for school safety programs
Additional funding for states to bring "red flag" laws allowing courts to remove weapons from those considered a threat
Closing the "boyfriend loophole" by keeping guns away from domestic-violence offenders if they are not married
The US Senate on Thursday passed the bill in a 65-33 vote with 15 Republicans joining the Democrats. The brutal killing of 19 students and two teachers inside a Texas elementary school catalysed this bipartisan action.
"Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and too many tragic shootings before – have demanded action. And tonight, we acted," Biden had said.
(With inputs from agencies.)