CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The vote will likely come later this week, but it’s now clear, the U.S. Senate has the votes to pass the first gun safety and control measures in 30 years.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced her vote today. This is truly a bipartisan effort because as many as 15 Republicans may vote “yes” with Democrats on this deal.
The effort came in the aftermath of the recent mass shootings, including one at a school in Texas where 19 students and two teachers were murdered.
A group of senators from both parties crafted the legislation as a balancing act between restricting some gun sales and making schools more secure.
More money will be set aside for making schools safer. People between the ages of 18 and 21 will have to undergo deeper background checks to buy guns. And the states, not Congress, will have the right to create “Red Flags Laws” to identify people with mental illness who might have guns.
“I will definitely vote for the gun rights package, yes. There are gaps in our school safety, the hardening of our schools,” Sen. Capito said. “There are gaps in mental health. There are gaps in some of the background measures that we know.”
Sen. Capito said it is balancing rights and responsibilities.
“It’s very important I think, for the American people to see us do something,” Sen. Capito said. “In West Virginia, I have always protected Second Amendment Rights, and I will continue to do that. This does not take anybody’s Second Amendment Rights away.”
Senator Capito notes that West Virginia already has a measure on the books, that does not allow for “Red Flag Laws.”
Senator Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia, also took to the Senate Floor in support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act saying, “But the bottom line is, we have got to take a position that we’re going to protect our children, this is what it’s about. It’s the child protection bill, as far as I’m concerned. And if you can’t protect the children in America, if you can’t protect the children in your neighborhood, in your school system, that go to school, the same school as your children and grandchildren, then God help us all.”
The final vote on this Senate bill has not been scheduled but could come Friday.