The Senate voted Thursday to require handgun manufacturers to sell weapons with child-proof locks.
The measure was added to a bill the Senate is considering that would grant immunity to gun makers and dealers against civil lawsuits. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat who sponsored the amendment, described the 70-to-27 vote as “a very strong signal” that lawmakers would be willing to further amend the bill, despite pressure from President Bush not to do so.
The New York Times described Thursday’s rollicking debate over the measure as “a political free-for-all.”
Gun makers have argued that legislative action is unneeded because they are already voluntarily moving to produce weapons with the locks.
The Senate passed a similar safety lock measure in 1999. But the gun bill to which it was attached did not make it out of the House because of disputes about other provisions, including how to regulate gun shows.