‘It will save lives’: Virginia senators discuss gun control legislation

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The U.S. Senate is taking a big step forward with gun safety.

The Senate passed a cloture vote 65 to 44 Thursday, June 23, blocking a filibuster and clearing the way for a bipartisan bill to get a final vote.

“It will save lives,” U.S. Senator Mark Warner said.

“I am convinced that both on the gun-safety side and on the mental-health side, the bill is going to do a lot of good,” U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said. “It feels really good to be on the threshold of saying that was unfinished business when I came here in 2013, but we are taking a big step forward.”

The proposed legislation would close the “boyfriend loophole,” fund red flag programs, as well as school safety resources and mental health programs. Also included, gun buyers under 21 will undergo stricter background checks and a review of mental health records.

“It was in the case of Virginia Tech, it was the case in Charleston,” Sen Kaine said. “There are warning signs in their backgrounds that should disable them from getting these kinds of weapons.”

The Democratic senators acknowledge this bipartisan bill doesn’t have everything they’d want, such as universal background checks and banning AR-15-style guns.

“For a lot of people, this legislation didn’t go far enough,” Sen. Warner said. “Frankly, the kind of sensible gun reforms we put in place in Virginia should have been the broader model.”

“I’ve supported bans on high-capacity magazines, which I think is even a more workable solution to bring down some of the scourge of gun violence,” Sen. Kaine said. “But, there would have been no way to get to the 60-vote threshold and do bipartisan legislation in the Senate with those pieces added.”

A final vote on the bill is expected as soon as Friday, June 24.

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