On Tuesday, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements after a bipartisan coalition of U.S. Senators released legislative text for the historic agreement on a major gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, released by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) comes after Senators introduced a framework for the package last Sunday and the newly released legislative text follows that framework, retaining all key provisions.
If enacted, this bill will provide the basis for the first major federal gun safety law in nearly 26 years. The bill will establish an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provide federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, disarm domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and fund community violence intervention programs, among other items.
“This bipartisan legislation meets the most important test: it will save lives,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The bill text lives up the framework released last week and we now move one big step closer to breaking the 26-year logjam that has blocked Congressional action to protect Americans from gun violence. We urge the Senate to pass this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible.”
“Our grassroots army has been demanding action from the Senate for nearly a decade, and today we’re one step closer to making history and ultimately saving lives,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We have every expectation that the bipartisan collaboration on the bill text creates a clear path to passage and will get this over the finish line. Until then, senators can plan to hear from us every day.”
- ENHANCING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR BUYERS UNDER 21: Establishes 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.
- SUPPORTING STATE RED FLAG LAWS: Provides $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 a well-established existing funding stream to support the implementation of Red Flag laws.
- DISARMING DOMESTIC ABUSERS: Expands 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 dating partners.
- CLARIFYING WHO MUST RUN A BACKGROUND CHECK: Clarifies 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.
- CRACKING DOWN ON GUN TRAFFICKING: Establishes the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.
- FUNDING 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.
- INVESTING IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND ACCESS: Provides 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.
- PROVIDING SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING: Funds evidence-based school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.
Since the tragic shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, Everytown supporters, alongside gun violence survivors and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, have shown up in Washington, D.C., and in the home states of U.S. senators to call for action, sending nearly one million calls and messages to the U.S. Senate and dropping off tens of thousands of petitions at home state offices urging them to take bold action. In early June, Everytown and Moms Demand Action held more than 350 events across all 50 states for National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. Just over a week ago, Everytown and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action held two rallies on Capitol Hill. Everytown also launched a $400,000 ad campaign targeting key U.S. senators.