The full US Senate will be voting on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act by the end of this week. It has passed through the first vote with strong bipartisan support. This bill is 30 years in the making, and while it does answer all of our requests, it will save lives. Please take the time today to call your U.S. Senators and tell them to support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act! If you don’t know who represents you, you can find that information here.
This is the time to make sure your voices are heard. Our Senators are listening, this bipartisan agreement was reached because of community demands for action. Here are the most important parts of the bill as outlined by Everytown:
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators have come to an agreement on a gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill that will help prevent gun violence. If made into law, it would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and would provide critical support to states and local communities working to intervene in this crisis. The bill addresses the varying forms of gun violence, including mass shootings, domestic violence, gun suicide, and community gun violence.
This bill will:
Enhance Background Checks for Buyers Under 21
Establish an enhanced background check process and up to three-business-day investigative period for buyers under age 21 that will require checking with state law enforcement, local law enforcement, and either state or local courts before a sale proceeds. This strengthens current law that already stops a gun dealer from selling a handgun to a person under 21, and any gun to a person under 18.
Support State Red Flag Laws
Provide $750 million in much-needed funding over the next five years to support crisis intervention services, including the implementation of state Red Flag laws. The bill will also unlock an additional well-established existing funding stream to support the implementation of Red Flag laws.
Disarm Domestic Abusers
Expand the current prohibition preventing convicted domestic abusers from buying or possessing guns to include not only those who abused their spouses, but also those who abused their current or recent dating partners.
Clarify Who Must Run a Background Check
Clarify existing law on what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, so that it is clearer when unlicensed people selling guns to strangers are required to obtain a Federal Firearms License and run background checks on all sales.
Crack Down on Gun Trafficking
Establish the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.
Fund Community Violence Intervention
The bill includes $250 million in dedicated funding for evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs that have been proven to reduce gun violence in the most affected communities using a public health approach.
Invest in Mental Health Services
Provide critical resources to expand community mental health services for children and families, fund school-based mental health and supportive services, invest in telehealth mental health services to expand access, and invest in community crisis intervention programs.
Provide School Safety Funding
Fund school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.
Participate in this groundswell of activism to create safe spaces, protect children, and schools, protect women and families and most of all save lives. Your voice carries weight, use it to keep our communities safer and to protect our schools from violence.