Washington, D.C. — Shortly after the horrific shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, last year, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the most significant gun violence reduction legislation in 30 years. One year later, a new CAP report highlights how the legislation is saving lives by implementing commonsense gun laws and investing in root causes of gun violence, including:
- Improving the background check system by broadening the definition of licensed gun dealers.
- Establishing enhanced background checks for buyers under age 21.
- Establishing federal criminal offenses for straw purchasing and trafficking.
- Addressing dating violence by partially closing the dating partner loophole.
- Supporting implementation of extreme risk protection orders and other crisis intervention services.
- Expanding community violence intervention programs.
- Supporting and expanding positive learning environments and safe schools.
- Funding a 21st century pipeline of mental health professionals.
- Expanding access to mental health services.
The BSCA demonstrates that it is possible for Congress to come together and pass legislation to curb gun violence. This legislation is an important first step to addressing gun violence as the nation witnesses its devastating toll in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Now, however, progress must breed progress. In order to build upon the success of the BSCA and effectively make the case for additional federal legislation, policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels must ensure that the law’s policies are properly implemented and that its significant investments are successfully leveraged to reduce violence in U.S. communities.
“For those who worry about when their kids go to school or outside—and for the voters who have demanded that elected officials reach across the aisle to address the gun violence crisis—the passage of the BSCA was a watershed moment,” said Nick Wilson, senior director for Gun Violence Prevention at CAP and co-author of the report. “But this is not the end of the fight. Until the nation passes additional commonsense gun laws, such as requiring permits to purchase firearms and reinstituting an assault weapons ban, needless lives will be lost and communities will be forever changed.”
Read the report: “The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, 1 Year Later” by Nick Wilson, Chandler Hall, and Allison Jordan
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