Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Drove Over One Million Calls & Messages to U.S. Senate in Recent Weeks
WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today celebrating the U.S. Senate passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill, by a vote of 65-33. Fifteen Republican Senators joined all 50 Senate Democrats in supporting this lifesaving legislation. The bill now advances to the U.S. House for a vote before it heads to President Biden, who has expressed his strong support.
“After untold shooting deaths, most of which never made the front pages, the Senate is finally taking lifesaving action to keep the American people safe,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Gun violence is a public health crisis, not a political football, and we applaud this bipartisan group of Senators for coming together and putting the safety of the American people ahead of gun lobby priorities.”
“This vote didn’t happen on its own — this moment was powered by a movement of millions of Americans who have done the unglamorous work of grassroots organizing demanding action from our lawmakers,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We’re far from done in our fight for safer communities, but today we’re grateful to the bipartisan majority of Senators who have taken this historic step forward to help save lives.”
If enacted, this would be the first major federal gun safety law in nearly 26 years. The bill will establish an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21, provide federal funding to implement state Red Flag laws, disarm domestic abusers by addressing the dating partner loophole, and fund community violence intervention programs, among other items.
- ENHANCING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR BUYERS UNDER 21: Establishes an enhanced background check process and up to three business day investigative period for buyers under age 21 that will require checking with state law enforcement, local law enforcement, and either state or local courts before a sale proceeds. This strengthens current law that already stops a gun dealer from selling a handgun to a person under 21, and any gun to a person under 18.
- SUPPORTING STATE RED FLAG LAWS: Provides $750 million in much-needed funding over the next five years to support crisis intervention services, including the implementation of state Red Flag laws. The bill will also unlock a well-established existing funding stream to support the implementation of Red Flag laws.
- DISARMING DOMESTIC ABUSERS: Expands the current prohibition preventing convicted domestic abusers from buying or possessing guns to include not only those who abused their spouses, but also those who abused their dating partners.
- CLARIFYING WHO MUST RUN A BACKGROUND CHECK: Clarifies existing law on what it means to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, so that it is clearer when unlicensed people selling guns to strangers are required to obtain a Federal Firearms License and run background checks on all sales.
- CRACKING DOWN ON GUN TRAFFICKING: Establishes the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities.
- FUNDING COMMUNITY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION. The bill includes $250 million in dedicated funding for evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs that have been proven to reduce gun violence in the most affected communities using a public health approach.
- INVESTING IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND ACCESS: Provides critical resources to expand community mental health services for children and families, fund school-based mental health and supportive services, invest in telehealth mental health services to expand access, and invest in community crisis intervention programs.
- PROVIDING SCHOOL SAFETY FUNDING: Funds evidence-based school violence prevention efforts, training, and the implementation of safety measures at primary and secondary schools.
Since the tragic shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, Everytown supporters, alongside gun violence survivors and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, have shown up in Washington, D.C., and in the home states of U.S. senators to call for action, sending over one million calls and messages to the U.S. Senate and dropping off tens of thousands of petitions at home state offices urging them to take bold action. In early June, Everytown and Moms Demand Action held more than 350 events across all 50 states for National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend. As Senators negotiated this bill earlier this month, Everytown and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action held two rallies on Capitol Hill. Everytown also launched a $400,000 ad campaign targeting key U.S. senators.