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Biden Delivers Remarks on Bipartisan Gun Control Bill

Biden: 'What we're doing here today is real. It's vivid, it's relevant.'

President Joe Biden delivered remarks recognizing the recent signing into law of a bipartisan gun control bill.

The Safer Communities Act (S.2938) was sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and passed with a vote of 64-34. It was signed into law by Biden in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on June 25.

“I know public policy can seem remote, technical and distant from our everyday lives,” Biden said in his remarks. “But because of your work, your advocacy, your courage lives will be saved today.”

S.2938 was passed in the wake of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and a racially-motivated shooting incident at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

“What we’re doing here today is real. It’s vivid, it’s relevant. The action we take today is a step designed to make our nation the kind nation we should be,” Biden said. “It’s about the most fundamental of things. The lives of our children, of our loved ones.”

The legislation expands background checks for any firearm purchaser under the age of 21 to include juvenile records. It also expands time for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) background check from three to 10 business days.

It also expands the ability to deny a purchaser a firearm due to certain material that may be present in mental health records.

“For 30 years, our nation has failed to pass meaningful gun violence legislation again and again, the American people have called for common sense action to protect our communities,” said Vice-President Kamala Harris in opening remarks before Biden took the podium. “Last month, their call was finally answered when president Joe Biden signed the bipartisan safer communities act.”

Red flag laws are also expanded under the new law, which critics argue strip individuals of their property rights without due process. Proponents believe that, even without due process, confiscating a person’s firearms through “crisis intervention” may save lives.

The bill is also a financial windfall for agencies related to firearm investigations and advocacy.

Among other allocations, it provides:

  • $100 million to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
  • $1.4 billion for Office of Justice Program grants
  • $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Education for activities related to supporting safe and healthy students, including mental health, safety, and violence prevention
  • $750 million for crisis intervention programs
  • $200 million for STOP School Violence grants
  • $200 million for states to upgrade their criminal and mental health records and upload those records to NICS
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