WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots arms Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements in recognition of the one-year mark of President Biden signing the life-saving Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) into law. This landmark law — the first major gun safety legislation to pass Congress in nearly 30 years — would not have been enacted without the bipartisan leadership of Senators Murphy, Sinema, Cornyn and Tillis.
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act broke a 26-year logjam in Congress, and was decisive proof that the political calculus around gun safety has undergone a seismic shift,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This bill is already saving lives, but the gun safety movement isn’t resting on our laurels—instead, we’re using our momentum to push for more action at every level of government.”
“Over the past decade, the gun violence prevention movement has become bigger, stronger and more powerful than the gun lobby. The gun sense majority in Congress heeded the call for action one year ago from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and delivered the first federal gun safety legislation in almost three decades,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “A year after its passage, we’re already seeing the life-saving outcomes. There is still more to be done to end our gun violence epidemic, but we now know federal progress is possible and we look forward to continuing to work with gun safety champions in Washington, D.C. and across the country to pass common-sense gun safety legislation that we know will save lives.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act takes a comprehensive approach to solving our complex gun violence epidemic by strengthening our laws and investing billions of dollars in evidence-informed solutions. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken numerous steps to implement the law and realize its life-saving potential. Already, more than 200 illegal gun sales have been blocked, thanks to the enhanced background checks for those under 21. The Departments of Health and Human Services and Education have already delivered more than $1.5 billion to states and communities to make our schools safer, improve access to mental health services, and help young people deal with the trauma and grief resulting from gun violence.
The Department of Justice has awarded $200 million in grant funding for implementation of Red Flag laws and other crisis intervention programs plus another $100 million for community violence intervention programs. The background check system is now denying sales to abusive dating partners when the records are available and DOJ prosecutions for unlicensed gun dealing increased 52% year over year. Additionally, DOJ has invested resources to investigate and prosecute violations of BSCA’s new provisions related to firearms trafficking and straw purchasing, and has already charged more than 100 defendants for violating these provisions and seized hundreds of firearms in connection with those cases.
Last Friday, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, joined U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and GIFFORDS, in hosting President Joe Biden, elected leaders, Biden-Harris Administration officials, survivors of gun violence and hundreds of gun safety advocates in Hartford, Connecticut for the National Safer Communities Summit to celebrate the first anniversary of the passage of The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The full-day summit included keynote addresses from President Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The event also featured panel discussions on funding and implementation of BSCA and the future of federal gun safety legislation with Rep. Lucy McBath, Kansas City Mayor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair Quinton Lucas, and other leaders in the gun safety movement.