Shaheen Statement on Senate Passage of Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

June 23, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, key legislation to reduce the threat of gun violence and keep communities safe:

“The devastation of Uvalde, Buffalo, Las Vegas and towns across the country weighs heavy on our hearts – these communities will never be the same. Congress owes every one of them action, and today, the Senate took the most important step in nearly three decades to curb gun violence. This bipartisan legislation offers long overdue reforms, from strengthening background checks and closing the boyfriend loophole to enhancing mental health support for students and keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” said Shaheen. “This bill marks a significant step to better protect our communities, but we cannot stop there. More will be needed to truly end senseless gun violence and prevent unnecessary death and destruction in American cities and towns. Particularly on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling today that opens the door for concealed carry across the country, Congress must continue to charge ahead to keep guns out of the wrong hands and protect American families.”

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.