Last week congress passed, and the President signed the first new set of laws regarding firearms in decades. While the new law is limited in its scope (e.g. there are no limits on semiautomatic firearms) there are some important new changes that are evidence-based.
Among the provisions in the new law:
- Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders: New funding for states to create & administer laws with sufficient due process protections helping keep deadly weapons out of the hands of individuals a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others.
- Funding for Schools: Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including: early identification and intervention programs, school-based mental health and wrap-around services, improvements to school-wide learning conditions, and school safety.
- Investment in Children and Family Mental Health Services: Supports national expansion of community behavioral health center model; improves access to mental health services, including for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.
- Violence Interruption Funding: Provides funding for community-based violence and prevention initiatives.
- Penalties for Straw Purchasing: Creates federal straw purchasing and trafficking criminal offenses, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal gunrunners.
- Under 21 Enhanced Background Checks: For buyers under 21 years of age, requires more thorough background checks.
- Clarification of Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer: Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.
- Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence: Adds convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Had the U.S. Supreme Court not overturned the Roe v Wade decision, this probably would have gotten more attention.