Biden signs gun safety bill into law
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Biden signs gun safety bill into law

US President Joe Biden Saturday signed into law S.2938, a gun bill intended to limit who can purchase firearms and make mental health investments throughout the US.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act passed the House Friday after receiving Senate approval Thursday. The bill was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) last October.

The bill amends current law and clarifies who needs a federal license to buy and sell firearms. It also enhances the background check review process for juveniles and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. This enhancement includes reviewing juvenile mental health records for individuals 16 years or older seeking to purchase a firearm and prohibits someone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as part of a dating relationship from purchasing or possessing a firearm for at least five years. The bill provides funding to states to implement extreme risk protection order programs. In addition, the bill invests $250 million in community violence intervention and prevention initiatives and $100 million to the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.

S.2938 provides grants to states that pass laws that allow law enforcement to petition courts to remove firearms from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. It directs funding to the Community Mental Health Services Block and school safety strategies. There is also funding directed to improving the mental health of school-aged children.

Biden stated at the signing, “While this bill doesn’t do everything I want, it includes actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives.” This law comes about a month after the Uvalde School Shooting.