Celebrating Two Years of Progress on Public Safety, Mental Health Thanks to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

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Washington, D.C. — Building Back Together Executive Director Mayra Macías released the following statement on the second anniversary of President Biden signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law:

“Two years ago today, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law — filling a leadership gap on the gun violence epidemic with the most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years. This historic law has already made significant progress in improving public safety, including by narrowing the ‘boyfriend loophole’ and investing in community violence intervention, crisis intervention programs and youth mental health services.

“Far too many lives have been senselessly taken and families torn apart by gun violence, increasing mental health struggles among young people and disrupting our communities’ ability to come together safely. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are witnessing progress not seen in a generation: the United States has experienced the largest decrease in homicide rates in history and the lowest rate of violent crime in 50 years, underscoring the impact of our comprehensive approach to preventing gun violence.

“However, the fight to protect our nation from the threat of gun violence is far from over. Communities across our nation deserve strong, decisive leadership from Congress to resolve this epidemic. We continue to urge Congressional Republicans to listen to President Biden’s ongoing call to pass an assault weapons ban and other commonsense firearm safety legislation — crucial steps supported by a majority of Americans to ensure safer communities for all.”

In the two years since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, we’ve seen: 

  • The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is helping reduce community violence and domestic violence by investing $250 million in community violence intervention programs all across the country.
  • The BSCA also made gun trafficking and straw purchasing a federal crime for the first time, giving prosecutors the legal tools they need to charge traffickers and hold them accountable.
  • Additionally, the BSCA strengthens background checks for anyone under the age of 21 trying to purchase a firearm.
    • Since the law was passed and implemented, the FBI has stopped more than 700 sales of firearms for individuals under the age of 21.
  • About 20,000 unlicensed firearms dealers are now required to become licensed in order to run background checks, which will keep guns out of dangerous hands.
  • The BSCA also provides $750 million to states to implement their crisis interventions like red flag laws that temporarily remove firearms from those who are in danger to themselves or others.
    • This funding has already gotten to work to reduce the number of mass shootings that happen in the United States every year.
  • The BSCA gives $1.3 billion to thousands of schools across the country to build safer learning environments, including updating safety plans, installing security equipment, hiring mental health professionals and school resource officers as well as violence intervention teams.
  • Thanks to an over $1 billion investment from the BSCA — the largest one-time investment ever in mental health in our schools — students will get the help they need to deal with the grief and trauma that gun violence creates.