Monday, August 15, 2022

Bipartisan gun legislation approved by the Senate, moves to House

Local representative Ted Davis Jr. said he has been working with local law enforcement as well as other groups to address gun rights and possible gun control laws (Port City Daily/File)
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed the Senate, with 15 Republicans in support, and will move to the House. (Port City Daily/File)

Backed by N.C. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, proposed gun legislation has made its way through the Senate Thursday with approval. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act focuses on mental health and safety programs, as well as making it harder for criminals or potentially violent individuals to obtain weapons.

The legislation was introduced June 21 by Tillis (R), Texas Sen. John Coryn (R), Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy (D) and Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema (D) that will reduce violence and still protect Second Amendment rights of Americans, according to a press release.

READ MORE: NC Sens. Tillis, Burr back bipartisan gun legislation enacting stricter regulations

“I am proud of my work to advance commonsense, bipartisan legislation that improves mental health care, strengthens school safety, and saves lives while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding North Carolinians,” Sen. Tillis said in the release.

Highlights from the bill include:

  • Expanding mental health and supportive services in schools, focusing on early intervention and instituting safety measures within primary and secondary schools. It also would provide training for school staff.
  • Encouraging states to upload juvenile records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS) so a complete criminal and mental can be considered prior to allowing a gun purchase. Right now, juvenile records are not considered.
  • Strengthening existing laws to crack down on those who illegally purchase or traffic guns. Most who sell firearms would have to register to become federally licensed firearm dealers (as it stands, individuals can sell guns online or at trade shows without this).
  • Providing added protection for domestic violence victims to require charges related to domestic violence and restraining orders to be included in NICS. This now expands from spouses and co-parents to also include serious relationships.

The Senate voted 64-34 (including 15 Republicans in favor), allowing the bill to proceed to the House of Representatives.

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