US Senate
US Senate iStock

The Senate on Thursday night passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence that amounts to the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades.

The final vote was 65 to 33, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure, according to CNN.

The bills marks a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in the country. The bill will next go to the House for a vote before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The bipartisan gun deal includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

It also makes significant changes to the process when someone ages 18 to 21 goes to buy a firearm and closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole”, a victory for Democrats, who have long fought for that.

The package amounts to the most significant new federal legislation to address gun violence since the expired 10-year assault weapons ban of 1994, though it fails to ban any weapons.

The gun safety bill had moved a step closer to passage in the Senate earlier in the day after a critical vote succeeded in advancing the measure with Republican support.

The vote on the federal gun safety bill came hours after the Supreme Court struck down a New York gun law enacted more than a century ago that places restrictions on carrying a concealed handgun outside the home.