Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) voted for bipartisan legislation that takes historic steps to combat gun violence and protect Georgia communities. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will help save lives by keeping weapons out of dangerous hands, strengthening mental health services, and bolstering school safety. This is the first major gun violence prevention legislation passed by Congress in nearly three decades, and the bill now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. McBath presided over floor proceedings this morning as the legislation was being passed through the House following passage last night in the Senate.
“I came to Congress as a mom on a mission to prevent gun violence and save lives,” McBath said. “With this bipartisan gun violence prevention package, we are finally taking steps to protect our families, our children, and our communities. I pray that this is just the first step in our obligation to stand up and do more in the face of tragedy after tragedy in this country. And I recommit myself to the promise I made my late son Jordan on the courthouse steps in Jacksonville, Florida: I will do everything that I can to save the lives of young people like him, so that more families in America do not have to live through the pain of losing a loved one to senseless gun violence.”
Gun violence in America is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths per year. Every day, 30 Americans are murdered with a gun – a number that rises to more than 100 when counting suicides and accidental shootings. Communities across the nation have been torn apart by nearly 300 mass shootings since 2009 – attacks that have killed more than 1,500 people and wounded 1,000 more.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will implement common-sense, bipartisan measures to protect America’s children, keep our communities safe, and curb gun violence across our country, including:
- Support for Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Helping states fund their existing red flag laws, and incentivizing other states to implement the laws to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others
- Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence: Closing the “Boyfriend Loophole” by adding dating partners convicted of abuse to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
- Cracking Down on Gun Trafficking and Straw Purchases: Preventing dangerous individuals from illegally evading background checks by establishing new federal criminal offenses that cover straw purchasing and trafficking
- Enhanced Background Checks for Buyers Under 21: Requiring longer, enhanced background checks of up to ten days for gun buyers under 21 years of age
- Anti-Violence Community Initiatives: Providing $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
- Child and Family Mental Health Services: Improving access to mental health services for children, youth, and families through Medicaid, CHIP, and other programs
- Investments in School Safety: Expanding mental health and supportive services in schools, including early identification and intervention programs