The United States Senate voted 65-33 to pass the bipartisan Safer Communities Act – landmark legislation to curb gun violence in the wake of horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo, and cities across the nation.
The bill is being heralded as the most significant gun violence prevention legislation to pass the Senate in three decades.
Provisions include improving background checks, strengthening safeguards for victims of domestic violence, and incentivizing states to implement their own Extreme Risk Protection Orders to remove firearms from individuals who pose a high risk of harming themselves or others.
“Virginians know all too well the pain of gun violence—pain no one should have to experience,” U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) said after the vote. “While nothing can bring back a life lost to gun violence, we are hopeful that the reasonable measures advanced through this bill will help curb the plague of shootings that continue to haunt American communities. We will continue to work to build on today’s milestone by advocating for additional measures to protect our neighborhoods from further senseless attacks. In the meantime, we urge our colleagues in the House to move quickly so that this bill can start saving lives.”
Community Justice Action Fund Executive Director Greg Jackson was among those applauding the Senate passage of the Safer Communities Act.
“Today’s Senate passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act represents a significant change in how we reduce gun violence,” Jackson said. “By including a historic $250 million investment for community violence intervention and prevention programs, we are beginning to apply a public health lens to the deadly crisis. We have been fighting for years to have this type of progress and this investment is a beacon of hope for countless communities plagued every day by gun violence.
“With this life-saving legislation headed to the House for consideration, thanks to years of hard-won advocacy efforts to champion community-focused solutions to gun violence, Congress is moving one step closer towards the whole-of-government response that the American people deserve to address this public health crisis.”