Mayor Tishaura O. Jones Joins White House Ceremony for Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Urges Renewal of Assault Weapons Ban, Confirmation of ATF Director
Jones also echoed Vice President Harris’ call to renew the assault weapons ban and urged the Senate to confirm Steve Dettlebach as ATF Director.
Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones joined President Joe Biden, gun safety advocates, and fellow elected leaders at the White House to celebrate the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first major federal gun safety law enacted in nearly 26 years. Mayor Jones also echoed Vice President Kamala Harris’ call to renew the assault weapons ban and urged the Senate to confirm Steve Dettlebach as Director of the ATF.
“The Safer Communities Act is a strong first step towards making our neighborhoods safer by expanding background checks, incentivizing red flag laws, disarming domestic abusers, and investing in community violence intervention and mental health resources,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “Our leaders in Washington need to keep up the momentum - Congress must renew the assault weapons ban and confirm Steve Dettlebach as Director of the ATF.”
Highlights of the Safer Communities Act include:
- Background Checks for 18-21-Year-Olds: Enhances background checks for people between the ages of 18-21 with an enhanced review process through the National Criminal Background Check System (NICS) with an initial investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records in three days. The bill incentivizes states to provide juvenile records to allow for enhanced reviews.
- Closes the “Boyfriend Loophole,” which allows convicted domestic abusers to purchase weapons if they are not married to their partner. This loophole ignores the violence and homicides caused by dating partners. The bill closes this loophole. The measure also adds those convicted of domestic abuse to the NICS. However, a compromise was included allowing a person convicted of a misdemeanor for attacking a dating partner to be able to buy a gun after five years.
- Funds to States for Crisis Intervention and “Red Flag” Laws: Directs more money for states to implement their own plans to address gun violence through crisis intervention and “red flag” laws. Under the agreement, every state will have the opportunity to seek grants to help pay for crisis intervention programs, regardless of whether they embrace “red flag” laws that allow judges to remove guns from potentially dangerous owners.
- Federal support to address root causes of crime, including $250 million in funding for community violence intervention programs $250 million for states, D.C, and territories to enhance comprehensive community mental health services.
Mayor Jones also thanked Senator Roy Blunt for his critical vote on this bill, emphasizing that improving public safety is and should remain a bipartisan issue. Mayor Jones serves as co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which urged passage of this legislation upon its unveiling in June.