Senate Votes To Begin Debate On Bipartisan Gun Control Legislation Shortly After Releasing Its Contents

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Devan Bugbee Contributor
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The Senate voted 64-34 Tuesday to start debate on a bipartisan gun control package after releasing the text of the bill earlier in the evening.

The proposed bill, titled Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, would allocate $750 million dollars to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which includes helping states implement “extreme risk protection order programs,” also known as red flag laws, the Wall Street Journal reported. The legislation includes funding for mental health and school safety measures, among other things, according to the outlet. (RELATED: New York Senate Votes To Make Bullet-Proof Vests Illegal)

The bill also seeks to expand on current regulations to bar dating partners convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing a firearm, according to the WSJ.

The legislation has received support from both Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, NPR reported.

“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 stated, according to the outlet.

Ten Republicans joined the same number of Democrats earlier in June in signing onto the initial framework for the proposal, according to the WSJ.

“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 common-sense legislation into law,” Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said in a statement Tuesday, NBC News reported.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) spoke out against the bill, stating that it “falls short at every level.”

“It does little to truly address violent crime while opening the door to unnecessary burdens on the exercise of Second Amendment freedom by law-abiding gun owners,” the NRA said on its website.

Senators were given only a short amount of time to discuss the bill before the procedural vote, Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio claimed in a tweet.

Supporters of the bill hope that it will pass the Senate before the July 4 recess and that the House will follow swiftly, The New York Times reported.