US Senators Cornyn, Murphy, Sinema and Tillis Released The Bipartisan “Safer Communities Act” Gun Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2021)— today U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) released the following statement:

“Today, we finalized bipartisan, commonsense legislation to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country. Our legislation will save lives and will not infringe on any law-abiding American’s Second Amendment rights. We look forward to earning broad, bipartisan support and passing our commonsense legislation into law.”

The Senators’ Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is fully offset and follows their previously released bipartisan proposal supported by Senate leaders from both parties and a bipartisan group of 20 Senators. Text of the Senators’ legislation is available here.

The proposal includes:

Children and Family Mental Health Services

  • The bill provide for expansion of community mental health services demonstration program.
  • Supporting access to health care services in schools.
  • Review of State implementation of early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services.

Boyfriend Gap

One sticking point resolved over the weekend concerned the “boyfriend loophole” — a gap in current federal law that prevents domestic violence offenders from purchasing firearms only if their victims were either their spouses or partners whom they had lived with or had children with. The framework proposed expanding restrictions to include offenders who have been in a “continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature” with their victims.

Protections For Victims of Domestic Violence

  • barring convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in NICS, including those who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  • allow courts to make that determination based on the length and nature of the relationship, as well as “the frequency and type of interaction” between the people involved. The text excludes “casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.”

Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders

●      Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.

Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services

●      National expansion of community behavioral health center model; major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs; and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.

 Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services

●      Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs and school based mental health and wrap-around services.

Funding for School Safety Resources

●      Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students.

Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer

●      Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.

Telehealth Investments

●      Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.

Under 21 Enhanced Review Process

●      For buyers under 21 years of age, requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement.

Penalties for Straw Purchasing

●      Cracks down on criminals who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.

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Source: US Senator John Cornyn

 

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