Framework Would Lead to First Major Federal Gun Safety Law in Nearly 26 Years
NEW YORK — Today, the ten co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nonpartisan coalition of more than 1,000 current and former mayors that is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, applauded the historic agreement reached by a bipartisan coalition of 20 U.S. Senators on major gun safety, mental health, and school safety provisions.
In response to today’s announcement, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chairs Mayor Brandon Scott (Baltimore, MD), Mayor Tim Kelly (Chattanooga, TN), Former Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC), Mayor Quinton Lucas (Kansas City, MO), Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard (Mount Vernon, NY), Mayor Eric Adams (New York, NY), Former Mayor Michael Tubbs (Stockton, CA), Mayor Tishaura Jones (St. Louis, MO), Mayor Jane Castor (Tampa, FL), and Mayor Regina Romero (Tucson, AZ) issued the following statement:
“Mayors are on the frontlines of our nation’s gun violence crisis, and for far too long, we’ve been urging our federal lawmakers to advance life-saving policies that will keep our communities safe. While this work is far from over, the framework released this week is an important step in the right direction. We appreciate the work by the 20 bipartisan Senators to find common ground for gun safety solutions. As co-chairs of a nonpartisan coalition of more than 1,000 mayors in cities large and small, we know the importance of working together to keep our communities safe. We urge the Senate to quickly take action.”
If enacted, the bipartisan framework would provide the basis for the first major federal gun safety law in nearly 26 years. The framework would establish an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provide federal funding to implement and incentivize state Red Flag laws, disarm domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, clarify which unlicensed sellers are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms and therefore required to become licensed gun dealers and run background checks, and crack down on gun trafficking, among other items. 20 bipartisan U.S. Senators released the agreed-upon framework after weeks of good faith bipartisan negotiations.
The framework released Sunday includes lifesaving gun safety measures, mental health investments, and school safety funding, including:
- ENHANCING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR BUYERS UNDER 21: Establishing an enhanced background check process and investigative period for buyers under age 21 that would require searching additional state databases and checking with local law enforcement before a sale proceeds.
- IMPLEMENTING AND INCENTIVIZING RED FLAG LAWS: Providing much-needed funding to support implementation of existing state Red Flag laws and incentivize new states to pass Red Flag laws.
- DISARMING DOMESTIC ABUSERS: Expanding the current prohibition on convicted domestic abusers and domestic abusers subject to a final restraining order from buying or possessing guns beyond those who abused their spouses to also include those who abused someone in a continuing romantic or intimate relationship – addressing what is known as the “dating partner loophole.”
- CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF A GUN DEALER: Clarifying 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: Increasing penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing, which is currently only prosecuted as a paperwork violation.
- INVESTING IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND ACCESS: Expanding community mental health services for children and families, funding school-based mental health and supportive services, investing in telehealth mental health services to expand access, and investing in community crisis intervention programs.
- PROVIDING SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING: Funding school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.
Members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns have been calling for federal action on gun safety since the coalition’s founding in 2006, and most recently with co-chairs calling for many of these measures last month. Since the tragic shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, Mayors Against Illegal Gun members, alongside gun violence survivors and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, have shown up across the country to call for action on gun safety.