Announcement from the office of Representative Derek Kilmer.
On June 24, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – a set of bipartisan proposals aimed at reducing gun violence across the country, investing in mental health and providing support services for children and families, and provide new resources to support schools in their efforts to keep children safe. The legislation, which passed the House exactly a month after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, marks the first major gun safety bill passed by Congress in 30 years.
“From Uvalde, Texas to Buffalo, New York; Columbine, Colorado to Newtown, Connecticut; Far too many communities in America have been grappling with senseless and terrible tragedies of gun violence. More often than not, the moments of silence that followed these tragedies were not followed by moments of action in Congress. But today, Congress is finally taking a step forward to reduce the threat of gun violence. By passing these common-sense bipartisan proposals, Congress is taking real action to protect our children, keep schools safe, reduce the threat of gun violence, and strengthen our communities,” Rep. Kilmer said. “While much more needs to be done, this bill is an important step in the right direction – and will save countless lives.”
The legislation includes a number of key measures aimed at reducing gun violence and protecting families in Washington, including:
- Support for State Crisis Response Orders: Creates $750 million for states to create and enforce laws that will ensure that deadly weapons are not in the hands of individuals determined by a court to pose a significant danger to themselves or others, and to extreme risk protection orders that receive sufficient due process.
- Protections for victims of domestic violence by closing the boyfriend loophole: Adds abusers convicted of domestic violence in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
- Ban gun trafficking and crack down on straw purchases: Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and clarifies which sellers must register, conduct background checks and maintain proper records, and creates for the first time federal offenses of buying and straw traffickers, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal arms traffickers.
- Improved background checks for people under 21: Requires an investigation period to review mental and juvenile health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement, for buyers under 21, creating a enhanced background check.
- Community anti-violence initiatives: Provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.
- · Investing in child and family mental health services: Supports the national expansion of community behavioral health centers; improves access to mental health services for children, youth and families through Medicaid and CHIP; increases access to mental health services for youth and families in crisis through telehealth; and provides major investments to the Department of Health and Human Services in programs that expand mental health provider training, support suicide prevention, crisis and trauma intervention, and recovery.
- Investing in safe schools: Invests in programs to expand mental health and support services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs, school mental health and support services, school improvement school-wide learning and school safety. This includes funding $300 million for the STOP School Violence Act program.
In 2018, Rep. Kilmer worked with parents at Sandy Hook Elementary to introduce and pass the STOP School Violence Act, which provides resources for schools to implement proven methods of dealing with gun violence. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he has secured continued funding for this law over the past two appropriation cycles to support students, teachers, and others in their efforts to spot and report warning signs. runners of gun violence before a tragedy occurs.
The bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which has already passed the Senate with bipartisan support, is now heading to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.