Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) today voted to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which includes historic provisions to reduce gun violence and help keep Americans safe in public spaces. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 234-193, and will now go to the President's desk to be signed into law.
"It is with a massive sense of relief that I voted yes for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act," said Rep. Himes. "For too long, Congress has sat idle as Americans across the country were ravaged by gun violence. But no more. While there is still work to be done, this commonsense legislation is a meaningful step towards protecting our communities.
"I am especially proud that this bill closes the "boyfriend" loophole, a critical policy that was included in the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, which I lead along with Senators Blumenthal and Murphy. The changes will expand the definition of "intimate partner" to include dating relationships to prevent domestic abusers from accessing firearms.
"This vote is proof that real, lifesaving change can be made when lawmakers choose policy over partisanship. I am grateful to the bipartisan leadership who set aside political differences to move forward with this compromise, and I look forward to seeing it enacted into law by President Biden."
The bill will save lives by limiting access to firearms for dangerous individuals and increasing funding for and implementation of state crisis intervention programs.
Provides funding for state crisis intervention programs, including Red Flag Laws
Closes the dating/intimate partner or "boyfriend" loophole
Boosts funding for community violence intervention programs
Requires enhanced background checks for individuals under 21 years of age
Creates strong penalties for straw purchases and firearms trafficking
Provides nearly $15 billion in new funding to grow, strengthen, and improve mental health services in our schools and communities and make school environments safer
Bars a significant source of Department of Education funding from being used to train or equip any person with dangerous weapons in schools