Support for Senate ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ Growing

Written by Orchid

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June 22, 2022

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White text atop red background next to photo of Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy giving a speech in front of Congress

LEGISLATION UPDATES

June 27, 2022
As anticipated, President Joe Biden signed the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ into law over the weekend. While an event to mark the bill’s passage will be held on July 11, the president addressed the importance of the bill to the administration’s commitment to gun safety.

I was there 30 years ago, the last time this nation passed meaningful gun safety laws.  And I’m here today for the most significant law to be passed since then, since — for the last 30 years,” remarked the President.

“‘Do something.’ How many times we heard that? Well, today, we did.”

June 24, 2022
After passing the Senate on Thursday night, the House of Representatives passed the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ (US S2938) in a 234-193 vote that saw 14 Republicans cross party lines.

“Every day, gun violence steals lives and scars communities — and this crisis demands urgent action,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “While we must do more, [this bill] is a step forward that will help protect our children and save lives.”

Despite not including important criteria of the Administration’s “comprehensive gun crime reduction agenda,” President Joe Biden is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 64-34 in favor of advancing a bill to help prevent gun crime and violence. Titled the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,’ the bill has received growing support from both sides of the aisle, with 50 Democrats and 14 Republicans supporting the recent procedural motion. This comes following an initial agreement last week in which 10 senators from each party negotiated provisions of the bill.

Such provisions include support and funding for mental health care and school safety, as well as new regulations on firearm transactions, background checks, and FFL licensing. Below, we’ve outlined provisions with the greatest impact on gun owners and the firearms industry.

NICS Examination of Juvenile Records

  • In firearms transactions involving persons under 21 years of age, NICS shall contact state and local entities in which the purchaser/transferee resides for the purpose of determining possible disqualifying juvenile record, including:
    • Criminal history repository or juvenile justice information system
    • State custodian of mental health adjudication records
    • Local law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction
  • NICS may extend the background check waiting period up to 10 days if “cause exists to further investigate a possibly disqualifying juvenile record.”
  • NICS must notify the licensee within three (3) days if cause exists to further investigate a possibly disqualifying juvenile record.
  • Federal and state agencies responsible for the submission of disqualifying records must remove outdated, expired, or erroneous records annually.
  • Requirements to contact state and local entities will sunset by 2032.

Redefining ‘Engaged in the Business’

  • Amends 18 USC 921(a)(21)(C) regarding firearm dealers to strike “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” and replace with “to predominantly earn a profit.”
  • Defines ‘to predominantly earn a profit’ to mean the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection.

Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act

Straw Purchases of Firearms

  • Establishes “it shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly purchase, or conspire to purchase, any firearm in or otherwise affecting interstate or foreign commerce for, on behalf of, or at the request or demand of any other person, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such other person”:
    • Is not a prohibited person
    • Intends to use, carry, possess, or sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm in furtherance of a felony, a Federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking crime
    • Intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm to a prohibited person or to a person to use in a crime

Trafficking in Firearms

  • Establishes it shall be unlawful for any person to:
    • Ship, transport, transfer, cause to be transported, or otherwise dispose of any firearm to another person if such person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the use, carrying, or possession of a firearm by the recipient would constitute a felony
    • Receive from another person any firearm if the recipient knows or has reasonable cause to believe that such receipt would constitute a felony
    • Attempt or conspire to commit trafficking in firearms

Voluntary Background Checks

  • Permits licensees to use NICS for purposes of voluntarily conducting an employment background check relating to a current or prospective employee.
  • Written consent from a current or prospective employee must be obtained prior to conducting a NICS background check.
  • No NICS fee may be collected for employee background checks.

Identification Records and Information

  • Allows a person licensed as a firearms importer, manufacturer or dealer to receive access to records of stolen firearms maintained by FBI NICS for the purpose of voluntarily verifying whether firearms offered for sale to such licensees have been stolen.

Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence

  • Establishes a person with not more than one (1) conviction of domestic violence against an individual in a dating relationship shall not be considered to have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime if:
    • Five (5) years have elapsed from judgment of conviction or completion of the person’s custodial or supervisory sentence
    • The conviction has been expunged or set aside, is an offense for which the person has been pardoned, or the person has had firearm rights restored
    • The person is not otherwise a prohibited person

Unlike the more extreme ‘Protecting Our Kids Act’ passed by the U.S. House earlier this month, this Senate bill stands to overcome Republican filibuster where it is expected to quickly pass the house and make its way to the desk of President Joe Biden.

As always, stay tuned to Orchid for the latest news on state and federal legislation impacting FFLs and the firearms industry.

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