Senate's Proposed Gun Safety Bill Closes 'Boyfriend Loophole,' Includes Background Checks

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Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Protecting America's Children From Gun Violence," in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Protecting America's Children From Gun Violence," in Dirksen Building on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

The United States Senate has advanced bipartisan legislation to address gun safety, weeks after another round of mass shootings revived the national debate on gun control.

On Tuesday, the Senate advanced the bill in a 64-34 vote that included 14 Republicans joining all 50 Senate Democrats to back the new legislation, according to Politico. The bill's group of four lead negotiators, Democrats Chris Murphy (Connecticut) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), and Republicans John Cornyn (Texas) and Thom Thillis (North Carolina), described the legislation as "bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect America's children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across the country," in a statement obtained by NBC News.

"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 commonsense legislation into law," the statement said.

RELATED: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Praises Modest Bipartisan Gun Agreement as 'Progress for the Country'

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes the bill can pass and be sent to the House of Representatives before the end of the week, according to NBC. The Senate is scheduled for a two-week recess beginning June 27, and while the bill must overcome the 60-vote threshold to put aside a filibuster, its future looks bright. The bill has officially received support from minority leader Mitch McConnell, who called the legislation "a commonsense package of popular steps" to curb gun violence in a statement Tuesday.

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Sen. Murphy posted a thread to Twitter containing the major points of the proposed legislation, which he wrote "is going to save thousands of lives."

The proposed legislation includes a provision that prevents people who have been convicted of domestic abuse crimes against anyone they have a "continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature," with, according to CNN. Previous laws only barred people from having guns after convictions against spouses or partners with whom they shared children or lived with, leaving people who did not live with a partner still able to purchase and own weapons.

Crowds with signs gather at the March for our Lives rally against gun violence at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2022.
Crowds with signs gather at the March for our Lives rally against gun violence at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2022.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty

The bill would allow individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic crimes to regain their rights to guns after five years, provided they do not commit other crimes, the outlet reported.

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The proposed legislation also includes requirements for more individual gun distributors and sellers to register as federally licensed firearm dealers, CNN said. Federally licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks for purchases, according to NBC. The bill also requires background checks for individuals under 21 purchasing weapons; local authorities would have up to 10 days to conduct background checks if an initial check creates concern, according to The Washington Post, which also notes that people under 21 are already not allowed to purchase handguns.

The bill also includes $750 million in funding for what Sen. Murphy wrote on Twitter are "crisis intervention orders" that include programs to keep guns away from people deemed a threat to themselves or those around them, according to CNN. The bill will also allow states to use that money to fund drug courts and veterans' courts; The Washington Post noted that Republicans wanted to make that money equally available to states that do not pass laws making use of those intervention programs.

The full text of the bill, as released by Sen. Murphy's office, can be read here.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.