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Coming Together to Save Lives: Giffords Applauds Historic Senate Passage of Bipartisan Gun Violence Prevention Package

    Washington DCGiffords, the gun violence prevention group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded the Senate passage of the bipartisan gun violence prevention bill. This bipartisan bill represents the first significant gun safety legislation to pass the Senate in nearly 30 years. Gun lobby leaders, National Riffle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), have come out against the legislation. This historic moment happened on the same day that a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court issued a decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, an extreme ruling that imposes the gun lobby’s dangerous “guns everywhere” agenda. 

    Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

    “After nearly 30 years of inaction, the United States Senate has found the courage to act. Naysayers said it would never happen. For decades, the gun lobby has marshaled its resources and political clout to prevent this from happening. In 2013, I stood with then-President Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden as we faced the devastating realization that the murder of 20 schoolchildren wasn’t enough to compel senators to act. 

    “But we didn’t let that stop us, and here we are, almost 10 years later. This time is different. Americans are sick and tired of inaction. The gun safety movement and our champions in Congress have worked tirelessly to pass a bipartisan gun violence prevention package. We knew this would be a long haul, but if there’s one thing my own journey of recovery has taught me, it is that progress sometimes happens not in leaps and bounds, but in incremental steps. 

    “Born of bipartisan compromise, this legislation required the hard work and persistence of so many Americans, and I’m so very grateful to see Congress take this important step forward. We look forward to seeing this bill pass the House and be signed into law—and we will continue to fight for additional reforms needed to save lives.”

    Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Giffords:

    “Gun violence is at record levels, and Americans are unified in their support for stronger gun laws. Today, at long last, the Senate has heeded the cries of the American people for action. For years, Giffords has worked to change hearts and minds on this crisis, inspired by the perseverance and the vision of our founder, Gabby Giffords. 

    “The fact that we’re here today is no miracle: it’s the result of the hard work of legislators, survivors, responsible gun owners, medical professionals, students, and so many other Americans who came together in their demands for change, We are grateful to Senators Chris Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema, John Cornyn, Tom Tillis, and the other original co-sponsors of the bill for their leadership and dedication to ending gun violence. We urge the House to swiftly bring this bill to the Floor for a vote, pass it, and send it to the president’s deck for his signature.” 

    About the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:

    The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a package of the following policies. Read our detailed policy memo on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. 

    • Authorizes Federal Funding for the Implementation and Establishment of State Extreme Risk Protection Orders
      • This legislation provides $750 million in federal funding to support state implementation and establishment of state-level extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws. This bill authorizes Bryne JAG funding for state crisis intervention orders, also known as ERPO laws or red flag laws, which are proven to be effective tools that help reduce gun suicides and mass shootings. ERPOs empower law enforcement agencies, and often families and household members, to petition courts for a civil (non-criminal) order to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms before they commit violence against others or themselves. 
    • Addresses the Dating/Intimate Partner Loophole
      • This legislation addresses a key gap in federal law that leaves victims of abuse vulnerable to injury and death by an armed domestic abuser. While more than half of all intimate partner homicides are committed by dating partners, federal law currently only prohibits gun possession among individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence if the abuser has been married to, lived with, or had a child with the victim. Closing this deadly loophole is vital to protecting survivors of domestic violence—states that prevent abusive dating partners from owning guns have 16% fewer intimate partner gun homicides.
    • Funds Community Violence Intervention Programs
      • This legislation provides $250 million for community violence intervention (CVI) programs, which would be the largest investment in CVI in US history. This funding would support coordinated, evidence-informed, community-based intervention and prevention programs. These strategies work to reduce violence by delivering comprehensive services to individuals at the highest risk of engaging in or being victimized by interpersonal violence.
    • Requires Enhanced Background Checks for People under 21 to Buy Long Guns
      • By requiring additional investigative steps to review juvenile records and consult with local law enforcement before a person under the age of 21 is able to purchase a long gun, this legislation provides law enforcement critical time to investigate a young person seeking to buy a long gun, including a semiautomatic assault-style rifles, to help reduce the risk of them using the gun for an act of violence. Young people disproportionately commit gun homicides: 18–20 year olds comprise just four percent of the US population, but account for 17% of known homicide offenders.
    • Addresses Gun Trafficking
      • This legislation establishes federal statutes to clearly define and penalize firearms trafficking and straw purchasing. These statutes would create new avenues for the investigation and prosecution of these often-overlooked crimes. 
    • Updates Language around Licensed Gun Sellers
      • Federal law provides that persons “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms must be licensed and conduct background checks on purchasers. Unlicensed sellers are not required to conduct background checks. The proposal would make a minor change to the language that determines which gun sellers must obtain a license and conduct background checks. The loophole that allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns without conducting background checks would remain open. 


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