Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) issued the following statement after House passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938):
“For too long, Congress has failed to take action to address the growing epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Today, I was proud to vote for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which is the first major gun safety legislation passed by Congress in 30 years. This is undoubtedly a victory that will save lives. But there is so much more to do, especially in light of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that sadly goes in the opposite direction. Today is a vote for progress, and we will continue to fight tomorrow to end gun violence in our country.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country, including with:
- Support for 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.
- Protections for 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).
- Banning Gun Trafficking & Cracking 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.
- Enhanced 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.
- Anti-Violence Community Initiatives: Provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
- Investing 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.
- Investing 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.
The House passed the bill 234 to 193. The Senate previously passed the bill 65 to 33. President Biden is soon expected to sign the legislation into law.