The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the first comprehensive gun violence prevention bill to become law in nearly 30 years
Washington, D.C., June 25, 2022 - Today, Brady applauds President Biden for signing the Safer Communities Act into law. This landmark act is the first comprehensive gun violence prevention law in nearly 30 years, and represents a historic act of bipartisan consensus that the federal government must act to prevent gun violence.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“President Biden was right to swiftly sign this bill into law. This is a historic day for Americans. This is a meaningful law that takes a comprehensive approach to save lives. The need for this law and these solutions was thrown into sharp relief when the extremist Supreme Court wrongly and recklessly expanded the scope of the Second Amendment. This should be a signal to the majority justices that the American people are not backing down and will not be silent or complacent.
This package will protect victims of domestic abuse from their abusers; it has historic funding for community based solutions that break cycles of generational violence; it incentivizes states to effectively enact and implement extreme risk laws to prevent tragedies from occurring by temporarily removing firearms from those most at risk of violence; it calls requires individuals making a profit from selling firearms to register as licensed dealers so background checks are conducted and so much more. Put simply, this bill will save lives.
While the overwhelming majority of this new law is common-sense and will have a direct impact on gun violence in America, Brady laments the inclusion of outsized sentencing penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing violations. While Brady appreciates the focus on urging our legal system to stem the flow of illegal guns, we must focus on irresponsible industry actors, rather than relying on outdated strategies focused solely on penalties for individuals that can have disparate impacts in communities already most vulnerable to gun violence. We cannot insulate the gun industry from the accountability or oversight necessary to stem this flow of illegal guns
Despite this, this new law represents a new day for federal action to prevent gun violence. This package does not have everything we need to address gun violence in all of its forms, but it marks a critical step and a new era for the actions we can take to end gun violence in America. Some senators have intimated that this ends action on this issue, but we know nothing is further from the truth. This is only the beginning.”
About the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
The text of this legislation builds out the policy areas agreed to in the bipartisan gun violence prevention framework announced on June 12, 2022. Significantly, this legislation will address the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” a current gap in federal law which permits some individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders or who are convicted of domestic violence abuses to legally purchase or possess a firearm. The bill likewise creates new requirements for federal firearm licensee designation, and a mechanism to ensure that individuals who exhibited signs of dangerousness as minors are appropriately evaluated when seeking to purchase a firearm.
The bill also creates new federal standards for straw purchases and trafficking firearms, including maximum penalty standards that Brady does not support and warns could create unintended harm, particularly against Black and Brown communities. Finally, the bill includes new funds available to states to support extreme risk protection laws and crisis prevention programs, and funds for both mental health resources and school safety programs.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.