The US Senate has voted to take first steps towards new gun legislation.
Lawmakers voted to speed passage of a bipartisan package of measures to toughen federal gun laws.
They agreed to a procedural measure that will allow the chamber to consider and vote on a bill this week. If that is passed, it will be the country’s first major gun legislation in decades.
The legislation includes provisions that would help states keep guns out of the hands of those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others and close the so-called boyfriend loophole by blocking gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried partners.
However, the bill stops short of raising the age limit from 18 to 21 on purchases of automatic assault weapons.
The gunmen in both Texas and New York were 18-year-olds who used assault rifles they bought themselves.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he expected the bill to pass this week, while Senator Chris Murphy, the lead Democrat in talks to craft a legislative deal with Republicans, called it “the most significant piece of anti-gun-violence legislation Congress will have passed in 30 years”.
Mr Murphy added: “This is a breakthrough. And more importantly, it is a bipartisan breakthrough.”