Gun violence bill heads to President Biden’s desk for signature

Congress passes landmark gun violence bill
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - Gun reform is another major step closer to happening in the United States.

A bipartisan bill to address gun violence passed in the House Friday after getting passed in the Senate last night.

It’s the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades.

This bill expands background checks and provides funding for school safety programs.

Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal joined gun safety advocates in Hartford to celebrate the passing of this bill.

“Anything we can implement to save lives is just so important,” said Nicole Melchionno, Legislative Coordinator of Newtown Action Alliance.

Melchionno was a second grader at Sandy Hook Elementary when a gunman opened fire at her school.

“The sounds of an ar-15 firing over and over again will forever haunt me,” said Melchionno.

Friday, she stood alongside gun safety advocates and lawmakers in Hartford, celebrating the passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

“There have been so many times especially since Sandy Hook that there has been a loss of hope. And like feeling defeated,” Melchionno said.

Advocates are feeling hopeful again after congress passed the first major new gun control legislation in nearly 30 years.

The bill expands background checks for people under 21 and gives millions to mental health and school safety resources.

“This bill saves lives. And this bill will prove to Republicans there’s no political price to pay for voting for gun safety, there is just political gain,” said Murphy.

The legislation also provides money for states to enact “red flag” laws, which are designed to temporarily seize guns from people deemed dangerous.

The bill passed last night in the senate following weeks of bipartisan negotiations led by Murphy.

“We had confidence that even though we lived through setback after setback, failure after failure, that one day we would break through,” he said.

The bill also makes sure dating partners can’t have guns if they have a history of violence within a relationship.

“This is a war. We won a battle but the war is not over. So we still have more work to do,” said Reverend Henry Brown with Mothers Against Violence.

It now heads to the President Biden’s desk for a signature.

It's the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades.