“God willing, it’s going to save a lot of lives,” Biden said as he finished signing the bill.
The legislation came together in the aftermath of recent mass shootings at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that was in a predominantly Black neighborhood. A bipartisan group of negotiators set to work in the Senate and unveiled legislative text on Tuesday. The bill — titled the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — was released by Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
The package represents the most significant new federal legislation to address gun violence since the expired 10-year assault weapons ban of 1994 — though it fails to ban any weapons and falls far short of what Biden and his party had advocated for, and polls show most Americans want to see.
Now the law will bar from having a gun anyone who is convicted of a domestic violence crime against someone they have a “continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” The law isn’t retroactive. It will, however, allow those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes to restore their gun rights after five years if they haven’t committed other crimes.
The bill encourages states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System with grants as well as implements a new protocol for checking those records.
The bill goes after individuals who sell guns as primary sources of income but have previously evaded registering as federally licensed firearms dealers. It also increases funding for mental health programs and school security.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.