WATERBURY – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) released the following statement regarding House passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:

“Today, Congress took long overdue action to address gun violence in our country. This legislation represents a compromise that will have a lasting impact on our country,” said Congresswoman Hayes. "The bill will save lives, help keep our communities safe and reduce threats of violence across the country. While I would have liked to see additional commonsense approaches to reduce gun violence in the package, I see this legislation as a start. I look forward to President Biden signing this bill, and will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to combat gun violence and find further solutions to this epidemic.”

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes:

  • Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders: Invests $750 million for states to create and administer laws that will keep deadly weapons out of the hands of individuals determined by a court to be a significant danger to themselves or others, and for extreme risk protection orders that have sufficient due process.
  • Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence by Closing the Boyfriend Loophole: Adds convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • Banning Gun Trafficking & Cracking Down on Straw Purchases: Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and clarifies which sellers need to register, conduct background checks, and keep appropriate records. It also categorizes federal straw purchasing and trafficking as criminal offenses for the first time, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal gunrunners.
  • Enhanced Background Checks for People Under 21: Requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement, for buyers under 21 years of age, creating an enhanced, longer background check of up to ten days.
  • Anti-Violence Community Initiatives: Provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
  • Investing in Children & Family Mental Health Services: Supports the national expansion of community behavioral health center model; improves access to mental health services for children, youth, and families through the Medicaid program and CHIP; increases access to mental health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth; and provides major investments at the Department of Health and Human Services for programs that expand provider training in mental health, support suicide prevention, crisis and trauma intervention and recovery.
  • Investing in Safe Schools: Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs, school-based mental health and wrap-around services, improvements to school-wide learning conditions, and school safety.

For more information on the Bipartisan Safe Communities Act, please see this one-pager prepared by Senator Murphy.