WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives Katherine Clark (MA-5) released the following statement on her vote to pass the bipartisan gun control bill, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
“Everyone should feel safe sending their children to school, joining their families in places of worship, or just enjoying a movie or concert – but in this country, our gun violence epidemic makes every outing a risk. This is the moment to prevent further devastation. This is the moment to act to save lives. This is the moment for real change. We made a promise to the American people that we would reduce the gun violence ravaging our country, and today we are seeing that promise through. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is an important first step to strengthen our laws to protect our children, families, and communities from the scourge of gun violence.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:
- Funds the implementation of crisis intervention orders in states, including so called "red flag" laws. These laws help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others.
- Closes the “boyfriend loophole” by adding convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
- Builds an enhanced, longer background check for buyers under 21. This enhanced check can take anywhere from 3-10 days, providing for a critical "cooling off" period for young people in crisis.
- Establishes the first ever comprehensive federal criminal statute banning gun trafficking and straw purchasing to allow law enforcement to end the flow of illegal guns into our cities.
- Clarifies who needs to register as a federal firearms dealer to make sure that every true commercial gun seller is conducting background checks. This provision could get thousands of additional gun sales into the background check system.
- Invests in our nation's mental health system, including creation of a nationwide system of mental health clinics, help for pediatricians to do telehealth consults with mental health professionals, money for more school-based mental health centers, support for suicide hotlines, and mental health first aid programs.
- Invests in community safety by funding community anti-violence programs in our cities, and school safety initiatives, by increasing funds for the existing bipartisan STOP School Violence program.