Sunday, December 10

The US Congress approves the most important agreement in 30 years to control the use of weapons

The United States House of Representatives has approved this Friday a historic agreement, although minimal, between Democrats and Republicans to strengthen the control of firearms after the last mass shootings registered in this country and that claimed the lives of 12 adults and 19 children.

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The agreement, which was already approved Thursday night by the Senate, only needs the signature of the president, Joe Biden, to become law.

The Lower House has authorized the measure by 234 votes in favor – all Democrats plus 14 Republicans – against 193 against, and it does so a month after the massacre in Uvalde (Texas), where a young man broke into an elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers with a semi-automatic rifle.

The bill includes a review of the process for buying weapons for those under 21 years of age and extends the so-called ‘danger alert’ (‘red flag’) laws to the entire country, which allow the activation of a legal procedure to confiscate firearms of those who represent a danger to third parties or to themselves.

This seeks to put an end to what is known as “the boyfriend’s legal loophole”, whereby until now if someone is accused of domestic violence without being married, they are allowed to continue owning weapons, something that does not happen in the case of married people.

Apart from slightly restricting access to weapons to certain people and according to what circumstances, the agreement between Democrats and Republicans includes more funds for mental health resources and to strengthen security in schools, two aspects that defenders of guns every time there is a shooting in the US.

Shortly after the Uvalde massacre, the negotiations that have led to this project began and were led by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and Republican John Cornyn, with the support of the leaders of both parties in Congress.

The final approval in Congress comes a day after the Supreme Court of the United States, with a conservative majority, extended the right to bear arms by endorsing that they can be carried in public.