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Shaheen Statement on Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Becoming Law

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law. This key legislation supported by Senator Shaheen and passed by the Senate last week will reduce the threat of gun violence and keep communities safe.

“Uvalde. Buffalo. Newton. Charleston. Las Vegas. These tragic mass shootings are engrained into our national consciousness, and the trauma will be felt for generations to come. Action to help impacted communities start the process of healing is long overdue, and finally Congress made an important first step by passing meaningful gun reform legislation. With the President’s signature today, we now have the most significant gun reform law on the books in nearly three decades,” said Shaheen. “This law makes important progress to keep guns out of the wrong hands – including criminals and those who pose a danger to themselves and others – as well as expand access to essential mental health services. The bipartisan consensus around this legislation is unprecedented, but let’s be clear: more action is undeniably needed to put an end to mass gun violence. Our fight for stronger gun safety protections for Americans continues, but today I’m proud to have helped push this legislation across the finish line.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will:

  • Strengthen support for state crisis intervention orders by helping states implement red flag laws, ensuring deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals the state deems a danger to themselves or others
  • Improve protections for victims of domestic violence by closing the boyfriend loophole, which would ensure that the current prohibition on firearm possession for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence applies to serious dating partners
  • Enhance the review process for gun purchases completed by those under 21, including by
    • Extending the background check process for buyers under 21 years of age
    • Requiring NICS to contact states for juvenile criminal history and mental health adjudication records
    • Clarify when an individual is “Engaged in the Business” of selling firearms such that they must run background checks before sales
    • Strengthen the penalty for illegal straw purchases
    • Crack down on gun trafficking by creating an explicit federal prohibition on the transport or shipment of firearms if there is reasonable cause to believe the recipient cannot have them
    • Expand Byrne Grants to allow states to use these grants to implement state crisis intervention programs, such as mental health, drug, and/or veterans courts and extreme risk protection order laws that include due process protections; and more.

A one-pager on the bill is available here. Full text of the bill is available here.