MIL-OSI USA: Biden Signs Sweeping Gun Violence Prevention Bill into Law


US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for Rhode Island Jack Reed
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Joe Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant federal legislation to address gun violence since the assault weapons ban of 1994, which expired after a decade.
The U.S. Senate approved the bill on Thursday night, with 65 U.S. Senators supporting the key vote, and it cleared the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday by a vote of 234-193.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) voted in support of the bill and said it is a major step forward in terms of reducing gun violence, enhancing school safety, cracking down on gun trafficking, and helping to save lives.  But Reed also stressed that the bill doesn’t go far enough and that Congress still has a responsibility to pass commonsense measures like universal background checks that are strongly supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.
“I commend President Biden for fostering bipartisan cooperation and signing this bill into law.  This bipartisan package represents a principled compromise.  It takes long overdue steps toward keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people, cracks down on gun trafficking, and invests significant funding in mental health and school safety measures.  While this new law doesn’t do everything I want, it is a major step forward in terms of reducing gun violence, protecting schools, and investing in evidence-based mental health programs.  We still have more work to do and I will continue to take aim at reducing gun violence and strengthening background checks.” 
Senator Reed noted that the new law includes three key provisions he championed:
•           Invests $750 million over the next five years to support crisis intervention services, including the implementation of state “extreme risk” or “red flag” laws, which allow courts to suspend an individual’s access to firearms if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. The bill will also incentivize more states to adopt red flag laws.  Nineteen states, including Rhode Island, already have such laws.
•           Invests $150 million to strengthen the 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a nationwide network of crisis centers linked through a 24/7 toll-free number that connects callers in crisis to immediate intervention services and care with trained counselors.  The bill also includes a national expansion of community behavioral health clinics, which would bring new resources to Rhode Island to tackle mental health and substance use disorders. 
•           Establishes the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.