The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to increase control over firearms in the country, with a minimum agreement between Democrats and Republicans after the mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo (New York) and at a school in Uvalde (Texas).
This is the first time in decades that the two major U.S. parties have agreed to vote in favor of greater gun controls, and after its approval in the Senate, the bill will now move to the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have a majority.
The measure passed with the support of all 50 Democratic senators and 15 Republicans - including Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - while 33 other conservatives voted against it.
U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement in which he celebrated that, "after 28 years without progress," representatives of both parties were able to agree to "act" and give a political response to the families of the victims of the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings.
Biden assured that the bill will help protect Americans and make schools and the community safer, and urged the House of Representatives to follow the Senate's lead and pass the measure so that it can become law.
The bill includes an overhaul of the gun purchase process for those under 21 years of age, and extends to the entire country the so-called "Red Flag" laws, which allow to activate a legal procedure to confiscate the firearms of those who pose a danger to others or to themselves.
In addition, the proposal also seeks to end what is known as the "boyfriend loophole," whereby until now if someone is accused of domestic violence without being married, they are allowed to continue to own guns, something that does not occur in the case of married people.
Apart from slightly restricting access to guns to certain people and under certain circumstances, the agreement between Democrats and Republicans also includes more funds for mental health resources and to strengthen school safety, two aspects on which gun advocates insist every time there is a media shooting in the US.
Just hours earlier on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court had issued a decision expanding the right to bear arms by upholding that they can be carried in public.
In its first major gun case in 13 years, the conservative high court ruled against a century-old New York state law requiring concealed carry on the street.