Following Bipartisan Negotiations, the U.S. Senate Last Night Passed the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” by a Vote of 65-33
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
“I cast this vote today with victims of gun violence from the Seventh District on my mind. In the wake of the horrific massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde, near-constant news reports of mass shootings across the country, and gun violence at home in our communities, I have heard from countless Virginians who want us to take concrete actions. The people I serve are asking us to step up and protect them, their children, and all of our communities from gun violence.
“When a gun falls in to the wrong hands, it can be deadly — for those closest to them, complete strangers, and the law enforcement officers who have to respond to violent situations. By moving forward a bipartisan agreement that includes more comprehensive background checks, strengthens incentives for states to adopt “red flag laws,” and closes the “boyfriend loophole” which allows convicted domestic abusers to purchase a firearm, we are taking real actions that would help protect American families, students, and law enforcement alike.
“These commonsense measures are long overdue. I am proud that my colleagues in the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle are responding to the outcries from the communities we represent. Today, we moved this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is the product of negotiations between U.S. Senate leadership and Senators from both parties. Last night, the Senate voted to pass the bill by a vote of 65-33.
Specifically, the bipartisan agreement:
- Requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement
- Clarifies the definition of a “federally licensed firearms dealer” (FFL) and cracks down on dealers who illegally evade licensing requirements
- Incentivizes states to adopt “red flag laws” to keep guns out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections
- Protects victims of domestic violence by making sure that domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in National Instant Criminal Background Check System
- Increases penalties for “straw purchasing” and gun trafficking
- Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health services
- Makes major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery
- Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around schools, support school violence prevention efforts, and provide training to school personnel and students
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriff’s Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National District Attorneys Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Association of Police Organizations, National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Psychological Association.