On Monday, July 11, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration welcomed hundreds of attendees to the presentation of the Bipartisan Gun Legislation at the White House in Washington D.C., and I was there to witness history. Sitting in the peaceful green backyard of the White House, surrounded by security guards, I felt safe for a moment.
President Biden stated, «Success begets success.» So as these new laws, funding, and policies are implemented, we hope to see a reduction in deaths by firearms. After all, this is what it is all about, saving lives.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about the new law on the lawn of the Rose Garden and explained to the well-dressed and attentive audience that it had been thirty years since Congress passed a law regulating gun ownership.
Here is a breakdown of what the law will provide
There will be $750 million to help states sustain the work of crisis intervention programs. These funds can also be used to create and manage red flag law programs to keep guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others. In addition, states can use the money for crisis intervention programs, mental health courts, drug courts, and veteran courts.
Closing the boyfriend loophole
This legislation closes the loophole that exists in the current domestic violence law. Initially, the law prohibited individuals convicted of domestic violence from having guns. Still, the rules did not include intimate partners who did not live, share children, or were not married to the victim. The new law protects anyone who has committed an act of domestic violence against a person they have a «continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature» from securing a gun. The law is not retroactive.
Requires more gun sellers to register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers
The law intends to ensure that individuals whose primary source of income is selling guns do not continue to evade the Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers. This change is fundamental because federally licensed dealers must do background checks before selling firearms.
More thorough reviews of people ages 18-21 who want to buy guns
The law encourages the inclusion of juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check system by providing grants and establishing new protocols for reviewing the application documents.
Creates new federal statutes against gun trafficking and straw trafficking
The legislation facilitates action against individuals buying guns for someone else who is not permitted to buy a gun for themselves.
Increases funding for mental health programs and school security
These funds are intended for certain programs that states may already have established, but the new legislation will provide a higher level of funding.
The Bipartisan Gun Legislation is not the final solution; the federal and local governments must do much more. We all must do more. But this legislation represents a pivot in the way gun ownership is viewed by both parties.
Lethal weapons have easily gotten into the hands of mass killers, resulting in over 309 mass shootings in 2022.
In 2021 45,037 people died of gun-related incidents, including homicide, suicide, and accidental deaths, according to www.gunviolencearchive.org.
Some members of our society want to own a gun to protect themselves, but others want a firearm to do as much harm as possible. Leaving decent law-abiding citizens helpless against the criminal intentions of people with legal and illegal guns is irresponsible, but allowing the uncontrolled, unregulated proliferation of handguns, shotguns, and automatic weapons is much worse. No one is safe under these circumstances.
Although I know that there is much more work to be done and this new law addresses the obvious, I still have hope because we are all exhausted by the carnage, and there is a growing movement toward common sense gun laws. Ultimately, our lives depend on doing what is right for all of us.