Biden signs bipartisan gun safety Bill into law after massacres

US President Joe Biden signing the Bill, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - United States President Joe Biden signed gun safety legislation into law that he called the most significant of its kind in decades, restricting firearms access for the youngest buyers and offering incentives for states to set up "red flag" laws.

"How many times have we heard that - 'Just do something'?" Mr Biden said in comments at the White House on Saturday (June 25). "Well, today, we did. While this Bill doesn't do everything I want, it does include actions I've long called for that are going to save lives."

Congress approved the Bill with unusual speed, two days after the Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law and ruled that the US Constitution's Second Amendment protects gun rights outside the home.

Fifteen GOP senators and 14 House Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to support it.

Mr Biden said at the signing ceremony that he will host an event at the White House on July 11 to mark the legislation's passage.

He reeled off a list of US mass shooting and lamented "the number of people killed every day in the streets", adding: "Today, we say 'More than enough.'"

A bipartisan group of lawmakers crafted the gun measures in response to gun massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.

It was welcome news at the White House, arriving on the same day the high court overturned the right to abortion, a ruling Mr Biden called a "tragic error".

The law will improve the national background check system for gun buyers aged 18 to 21 and provide new federal criminal penalties for people who make straw purchases and traffic guns to be used in crime.

It also includes billions of dollars in funding to help secure schools and bolster mental health resources.

The Bill also closes the "boyfriend loophole" which would prohibit dating partners convicted of domestic abuse from buying guns. However, a person convicted of a misdemeanour could be allowed to buy a gun again after five years.

Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates gun-safety measures, filed a brief at the Supreme Court supporting the New York restrictions.

The group is backed by Mr Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News' parent company Bloomberg LP.

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