Congresswoman Lee Votes for Historic Gun Reform
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee voted for bipartisan legislation that takes historic steps to combat gun violence and protect California communities. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will help save lives by keeping weapons out of dangerous hands, strengthening mental health services and bolstering school safety. The first major gun violence prevention legislation passed by Congress in nearly three decades, this bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“Today, the Democratic Congress passed our nation’s first major gun violence prevention legislation in nearly three decades,” said Rep. Lee. “Californians are horrified by the epidemic of gun violence that continues to steal away lives, devastate families and shatter communities across the country. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will implement common-sense measures to curb the violence and keep weapons away from those who pose a danger to themselves and others.”
Gun violence in America is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths per year. Every day, 30 Americans are murdered with a gun – a number that rises to more than 100 when counting suicides and accidental shootings. Communities across the nation have been torn apart by nearly 300 mass shootings since 2009 – attacks that have killed more than 1,500 people and wounded 1,000 more.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will implement common-sense, bipartisan measures to protect America’s children, keep our communities safe and curb gun violence across our country, including:
- Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders: Incentivizing states to implement extreme risk protection order laws to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others.
- Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence: Closing the “Boyfriend Loophole” by adding convicted abusers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- Cracking Down on Gun Trafficking and Straw Purchases: Preventing dangerous individuals from illegally evading background checks by establishing new federal criminal offenses that cover straw purchasing and trafficking.
- Enhanced Background Checks for Buyers Under 21: Requiring longer, enhanced background checks of up to ten days for gun buyers under 21 years of age.
- Anti-Violence Community Initiatives: Providing $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
- Child and Family Mental Health Services: Improving access to mental health services for children, youth and families through Medicaid, CHIP and other programs.
- Investments in School Safety: Expanding mental health and supportive services in schools, including early identification and intervention programs.
“House Democrats have voted again and again for bold action to combat gun violence,” continued Rep. Lee. “Today’s vote is a key step forward, but we cannot stop here. House Democrats remain committed to fighting for additional gun safety legislation and finally putting an end to our nation’s daily drumbeat of gun violence.”
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.