U.S. House gun vote splits Arizona’s delegation as Congress sends bipartisan bill to Biden

By Greg Svirnovskiy |Arizona Republic

The House of Representatives voted Friday to send the Senate-passed bipartisan gun bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The House voted 234-193 to pass the legislation, the most significant congressional action on gun issues in nearly three decades. 

Every House Democrat voted in favor of the bill. They were joined by 14 Republicans, including Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican whose district includes Uvalde, where 19 students and two teachers were killed last month in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since 2012. 

But unlike Arizona’s Democratic senators  — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who sponsored the legislation, and Sen. Mark Kelly voted Thursday in support of the package — Arizona’s House delegation was split along party lines.

House Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego, Raúl Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton voted for the bill. Republican Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko, David Schweikert voted against it.  

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act makes critical investments in mental health resources, protections for victims of domestic violence, increased vetting and background checks for those 18-20 years old and supports evidence-based school safety,” Grijalva, the most senior member of the state’s delegation, said in a written statement after the vote. “Arizona must act swiftly to implement the red flag law program incentivized in this legislation. We know these programs work and prevent the worst in times of danger or crisis by individuals who seek to do harm to themselves or others. Law enforcement, mental health professionals and responsible gun owners overwhelmingly support these measures. If Arizona fails to act in this regard, they will be responsible for avoidable deaths and tragedy.”

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