On June 25, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law S.2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The bill passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 65-33, and the U.S. House by a vote of 234-193. Chuck Grassley, Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of the Iowa delegation voted no on the negotiated bill that rose out of the May 24 mass shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The White House supported the legislation, saying in a statement, “While the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act does not include additional important steps the President has called for as part of his comprehensive gun crime reduction agenda, it would make meaningful progress to combat gun violence. As communities continue to experience gun violence every day, the Administration calls for swift passage of this life-saving legislation.”
The bill is something, what a divided Congress could accomplish in the wake of a horrific series of mass shootings. It left out popular measures such as expanded background checks, an assault weapons ban, and a higher minimum age of purchase for assault-style weapons. Most Americans support these measures. Even Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said the age to purchase assault weapons must be raised from 18 to 21. Senator Amy Klobuchar summarized by saying, “We’ve taken one step to stop gun violence with the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. But we need to do more. Families everywhere are counting on us. This is not over.”
Those who support additional gun control measures will accept this bill for the good things it does: enhance background checks for gun buyers under age 21, support state red flag laws, tighten gun possession on domestic abusers (including closing the so-called boyfriend loophole), clarify existing law regarding background checks, crack down on interstate gun trafficking, fund community violence intervention, invest in mental health services, and provide school safety funding.
For more information about the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, here are some links: