'Lives will be saved': Joe Biden signs landmark gun control bill into law

The United States has seen a spate of mass shootings recently, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas primary school. Credit: AP

Joe Biden signed the most sweeping gun control bill the United States has seen in decades on Saturday.

It was a compromise between Democrats and Republicans that seemed unimaginable until recently, when the US has seen a spate of mass shootings that included the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas primary school.

The bill will toughen background checks on young gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people considered to be dangerous.

“Lives will be saved,” the president said at the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims, he said, “Their message to us was to do something. Well today, we did.”

Mr Biden said the compromise agreed by a group of senators from both parties “doesn't do everything I want,” but added, “it does include actions I've long called for that are going to save lives.”

Biden signed the bill two days after the Supreme Court struck down a law restricting people's ability to carry concealed weapons, a move that effectively expanded gun rights.

Saturday’s signing also came less than 24 hours after the court overturned the Roe vs Wade decision, scrapping the constitutional right to abortion for US women.

It is now believed 26 states are either certain or likely to make moves to ban abortion outright, with clinics in some states having already stopped performing terminations on Friday after the decision.

When asked by reporters whether the Supreme Court was broken, Biden said, “I think the Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions.”

The new bill is significant as it is the first time in decades that gun control reforms have received support from Democrats and Republicans.

The Republican party has tended to block efforts in the past.

It does not, however, include the tougher restrictions pushed for by Democrats including Mr Biden, such as banning assault-style weapons like the one used by the 18-year-old gunman in Texas.

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