The bipartisan Safer Communities Act sped through congress following a string of mass shootings in the U.S.
It was passed by the Senate Thursday and the House on Friday.
“From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Charleston, Orlando, Las Vegas Parkland, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, Uvalde and for the shootings that happen every day in the streets that are mass shootings and we don’t even hear about, the number of people killed every day in the streets,” said President Biden. “Their message to us was do something and how many times I heard that, just do something. For God’s sake, just do something. Well today, we did.”
The legislation provides grants to states for “red flag” laws, enhanced background checks to include juvenile records, and closes what’s known as the “boyfriend loophole.”
“It funds crisis intervention, including red flag laws,” said President Biden. “It keeps guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and to others and it finally closes what is known as a boyfriend loophole. So, if you assault your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can’t buy a gun or own a gun.”
Jose Salas is a firearms instructor and owns Blackhawk Protection Service.
“I believe that any steps the government might take just to try to stop this situation that is going on, it is a good idea,” said Salas. “But we need to be very careful that those regulations don’t go against the second amendment. Because that’s a right that we have in the constitution.”
The bill also requires enhanced background checks for people ages 18 to 21 and funding for youth mental health services.
However, it does not ban assault weapons and require background checks for all gun purchases.
“This bill doesn’t do everything I want, but it does include actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives,” said President Biden.
The President says it’s the first ever federal law to make gun trafficking and straw purchases distinct federal crimes.