Shaheen’s statement on the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act

June 23, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Senate passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Actkey legislation to reduce the threat of armed violence and keep communities safe:

“The devastation of Uvalde, Buffalo, Las Vegas and cities across the country weighs heavily on our hearts – these communities will never be the same again. Congress must act on each of them, and today the Senate has taken the most important step in nearly three decades to combat gun violence.This bipartisan legislation proposes long-awaited reforms, from strengthening background checks and closing the boyfriend loophole to the improving mental health support for students and protecting guns from the wrong hands,” said Shaheen. “This bill marks an important step to better protect our communities, but we cannot stop there. It will take more to truly end senseless gun violence and prevent unnecessary death and destruction in American cities and towns. Especially on the heels of today’s Supreme Court ruling that opens the door to concealed carry across the country, Congress must continue to push forward to keep guns out of the wrong hands and protect American families. .

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will be:

  • Build support for state crisis response orders by helping states implement red flag laws, ensuring lethal weapons do not fall into the hands of individuals the State considers a danger to themselves or others
  • Improving protections for victims of domestic violence by removing the boyfriend loophole, which would ensure that the current gun possession ban for those convicted of domestic violence offenses applies to serious romantic partners
  • Improve the review process for arms purchases made by those under 21, including by
    • Expanded background check process for buyers under 21
    • Require NICS to contact states for juvenile criminal history and mental health adjudication records
    • Clarify when a person is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms so that they must complete background checks before the sale
    • Increase penalties for illegal purchases of straw
    • Crack down on gun trafficking by creating an explicit federal ban on transporting or shipping firearms if there are reasonable grounds to believe the recipient cannot have them
    • Expand Byrne grants to allow states to use these grants to implement state crisis response programs, such as mental health, drug, and/or veterans courts and laws on extreme risk protection orders that include due process protections; and more.

A page on the bill is available here. The full text of the bill is available here.

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