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President Biden Invites RISE to The White House to Celebrate Passage of The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

WASHINGTON— By a vote of 65-33, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act legislation to bolster public safety and prevent tragedies before they occur, including through substantial investments in mental health, school safety, and state-led crisis intervention programs.

On July 11th, President Biden invited Executive Director of RISE Lynniah Grayson to the White House and others to join in the celebration of the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

This bill provides a gun safety package that addresses the rising rates of gun violence nationwide. It was signed into law on June 25th, 2022. If implemented correctly, this bill could yield huge benefits for gun survivors in our country who are most marginalized and underrepresented. This is why RISE continues to be at the frontlines of these issues rather it be locally or at the doorsteps of the nation’s capital.

Statement of Support for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

“Instead of being at the White House, I’d rather have had every person whose lives had been tragically cut short due to gun violence in this nation at home”, said Lynniah Grayson, Founder and Executive Director of RISE. “In this country, there are far too many families who are suffering from the traumatic impacts of losing a loved one to the preventable harms of gun violence. We will continue to support children and parents who are most vulnerable, underrepresented, and under-resourced when it comes to addressing the impacts and harms of gun violence. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a clear step in the right direction and we are proud to be a part of this historical moment”.

Highlights of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

This bipartisan legislation provides a total of over $13 billion in federal funding to bolster public safety and innovative programs to help stop tragedies before they occur, including through substantial investments in mental health, school safety, and state-led crisis intervention programs. The cost of the bill is offset, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation will reduce the deficit.

Crisis Intervention and Public Safety

Supports State Crisis Intervention Efforts

    • $750 million over 5 years in new Byrne-JAG grant funding, which will be distributed to all states to implement crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs or initiatives of their choosing.
    • States that want to use this money to implement red flag laws must meet constitutional due process standards.
    • States that choose not to implement red flag laws would not have their share of this funding reduced, and can use it for other qualifying programs like mental health, drug, and veterans courts.
  • $150 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides free support to people in crisis, and thanks to an idea that originated in Utah, is rolling out its new three-digit 988 number nationwide this summer.
  • Protects victims of domestic violence by ensuring court-convicted domestic abusers who are or were recently in a continuous serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with their victim cannot purchase a firearm. This has absolutely no impact on law-abiding citizens, and only affects court-convicted domestic abusers.
  • Cracks down on illegal straw purchasers by making it a specific federal criminal offense to purchase, or conspire to purchase, a firearm for someone who is prohibited by law from purchasing a firearm.

Background Checks

  • Improves the Existing Background Check System for Juveniles
    • Includes juvenile mental health and criminal records in a background check, and provides for enhanced review of purchasers between 18-21 years old.
    • Purchasers under 21 can continue to purchase a firearm immediately if the background check does not identify any disqualifying or possibly disqualifying juvenile records.
  • Clarifies who must register as a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), and is therefore required to run background checks.