Fourteen Republican Senators joined the entire Democratic caucus and voted to advance a barebones gun safety bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote, the Associated Press reports. It’s expected to pass the House quickly after the Senate approves it.
While the bill doesn’t ban assault weapons, it’s considered a major accomplishment in gun safety during an election year. The bill would expand background checks for people under the age of 21 to include juvenile trouble; closes the “boyfriend” loophole banning domestic abusers from having guns; increases funding for state “red flag” laws and increases resources for mental health care.
Only two of the Republicans who voted for the bill are up for reelection this year: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio are retiring. Cornyn (Tex) Tillis (NC), Collins (Maine), Romney (Utah), Cassidy (La), Graham (SC) and Blunt (Mo) Capito (WV), and Ernst (Iowa) joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to move the bill ahead.