by Brian Washington
Legislation to approve comprehensive and enforceable background checks for firearm purchases–something an overwhelming majority of educators say they support–is expected to be front and center in the U.S. Senate, where lawmakers voted this morning to begin debate on gun safety legislation.
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The 68-to-31 vote to break a filibuster saw 16 Republicans cross party lines to vote with Senate Democrats and clears the way for lawmakers to discuss an extensive package of gun safety bills, including bi-partisan legislation announced yesterday by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., which would require comprehensive and enforceable background checks for all firearms purchased at gun shows and online. Also included in the package is a school safety component to help schools with facility and campus security upgrades.
In a recent survey, an overwhelming majority of those educators polled said they support stronger laws to prevent gun violence—with 90-percent saying they favor background checks for firearm purchases.
Educators and advocates for public schools have been encouraged to contact key lawmakers in the Senate, where debate on common-sense gun proposals could span the next several weeks.
The push on Capitol Hill for tougher laws to curb gun violence follows the deadly schoolhouse shooting last December in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 young children and several educators were killed.
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