WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after both the House and Senate passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a commonsense, bipartisan gun safety package to reduce the threat of gun violence and save lives. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“As America confronts a rising tide in gun violence, I’m pleased Congress was able to come together to pass legislation that will make our communities safer. While more action is needed to address gun violence in America, this bill is a step in the right direction. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will help keep deadly weapons out of dangerous hands; crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases; enhance background checks for people under 21; and more. As we send this important legislation to President Biden’s desk, we are thinking of all victims of gun violence and their families. Democrats will never stop fighting for a future free from gun violence.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will:
- Support State Crisis Intervention Orders: Creates $750 million for states to create and administer laws that will ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals determined by a court to be a significant danger to themselves or others, and for extreme risk protection orders that have sufficient due process.
- Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Closing the Boyfriend Loophole: Adds convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
- Ban Gun Trafficking & Crack Down on Straw Purchases: Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and clarifies which sellers need to register, conduct background checks, and keep appropriate records, and creates federal straw purchasing and trafficking criminal offenses for the first time, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal gunrunners.
- Enhance Background Checks for People Under 21: Requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement, for buyers under 21 years of age, creating an enhanced, longer background check of up to ten days.
- Support Anti-Violence Community Initiatives: Provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
- Invest in Children & Family Mental Health Services: Supports the national expansion of community behavioral health center model; improves access to mental health services for children, youth, and families through the Medicaid program and CHIP; increases access to mental health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth; and provides major investments at the Department of Health and Human Services to programs that expand provider training in mental health, support suicide prevention, crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
- Invest in Safe Schools: Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs, school-based mental health and wrap-around services, improvements to school-wide learning conditions, and school safety.
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