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What is the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act?

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators have come to an agreement on a gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill that will help prevent gun violence. If made into law, it would help keep guns out of the wrong hands and would provide critical support to states and local communities working to intervene in this crisis. The bill addresses the varying forms of gun violence, including mass shootings, domestic violence, gun suicide, and community gun violence.

This bill will: 

Enhance Background Checks for Buyers Under 21

Establish 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.

Support State Red Flag Laws

Provide $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 an additional well-established existing funding stream to support the implementation of Red Flag laws.

Disarm Domestic Abusers

Expand 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 current or recent dating partners.

Clarify Who Must Run a Background Check 

Clarify 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.

Crack Down on Gun Trafficking

Establish the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.

Fund 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.

Invest in Mental Health Services

Provide 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.

Provide School Safety Funding

Fund school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.

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