WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02) called for swift passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This package contains many of Rep. Kelly’s gun violence prevention priorities. Rep. Kelly is calling for House leadership to quickly bring the bill to the floor for a vote and for the support of her colleagues in passing the bill to save lives.
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“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will bring real progress to communities across America that are impacted by gun violence, like Illinois’ Second Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “Imposing stricter penalties for straw purchasing and gun trafficking, investing billions of dollars in our mental health care services, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and improving the background checks for buyers under 21 years of age – these are all policies and investments that the American people support and that I have worked for many years to achieve. I urge House leadership to quickly bring this vote to the floor, and my House colleagues to pass this legislation swiftly.”
This legislation includes several key measures that Rep. Kelly has advocated for in Congress:
- Stricter penalties for gun trafficking & straw purchasing
- The bill establishes new, specific criminal offenses with significant penalties for straw purchasers and firearms traffickers, and enhanced penalties when straw-purchased firearms are used in connection with serious criminal activity like terrorism and drug trafficking.
- Rep. Kelly introduced and passed through the House the Prevent Gun Trafficking Act.
- The bill authorizes funding for an existing ATF Anti-Straw Purchasing Campaign to educate FFLs and others in the firearms industry to help combat straw purchasing.
- Rep. Kelly has introduced the Federal Firearm Licensee Act, which would, in part, impose stricter rules on FFLs to prevent gun trafficking.
- Expanded access to mental health care
- The bill requires Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide guidance to states on how to increase access to health care, including mental health services, via telehealth under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Rep. Kelly has introduced the Evaluating Disparities and Outcomes of Telehealth (EDOT) During the COVID-19 Emergency Act to develop data-driven policies for telehealth.
- Establishing red flag laws
- The bill updates the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” to include individuals who have or have had a current or recent serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with their victim. The law previously covered married couples and ex-spouses – this provision moves toward closing the boyfriend loophole.
- Rep. Kelly has introduced the Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act, which in part would prohibit those convicted of stalking or crimes of violence from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition.
- Appropriates funding for community violence intervention
- The bill includes a direct $250 million investment in community violence intervention funding and investments into many other programs to curb violence.
- Last year, Rep. Kelly wrote to and appeared before the Appropriations Committee to request $750 million in community violence interventionfunding.
Additionally, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:
- Enhances background checks, giving authorities up to 10 business days to review the juvenile and mental health records of gun purchasers younger than 21.
- Provides millions of dollars for expanding mental health resources in communities and schools, including for primary care doctors, telehealth services and through Medicaid and CHIP.
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