Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) voted to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, an historic, commonsense package to reduce the threat of gun violence across the country and protect America’s children and schools. Already passed the Senate, this legislation now goes to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“Today, after nearly three decades of inaction on gun safety, of empty thoughts and prayers and hollow promises, we are making progress to prevent senseless gun violence. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will not bring back the countless lives lost and communities torn apart by gun violence, but it will help Americans stay safe – whether they are at school, at the grocery store, at a house of worship, or anywhere else, “ said Congresswoman Ross. “The American people have been asking for change, and today, we put aside our partisan differences to deliver that. This package is a good first step, but we cannot stop there. We must continue fighting to make our communities safer and ensure our children do not live in fear.”

This Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes the following provisions:

  • Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders: Creates $750 million for states to create and administer laws that will ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals determined by a court.
  • Closes the Boyfriend Loophole: Adds convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Penalties for Straw Purchasing: Creates federal straw purchasing and gun trafficking criminal offenses, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal gunrunners.
  • Clarified Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer: Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and clarifies which sellers need to register, conduct background checks, and keep appropriate records.
  • 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.

Earlier this month, the House passed the Protecting Our Kids Act and Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would directly impact gun sales, safety, and accessibility to prevent violence in American schools, workplaces, and communities. Congresswoman Ross spoke on the House Floor in support of the legislation. To view or download the video file, click here.