President Joe Biden on Saturday signed into law a bipartisan bill of gun safety measures, which Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called the “most vital piece of anti-gun-violence laws Congress has passed in three many years.”
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act incorporates modest curbs on buying guns in addition to funds to spice up mental health care and faculty security. It also enhances background checks for people under 21 and puts restrictions on abusive domestic partners obtaining guns.
“Time is of the essence, lives shall be saved,” Biden said in remarks alongside first lady Jill Biden before the signing.
The president talked about meeting the families of victims of mass shootings everywhere in the U.S., and the families of those killed in shootings that occur on a regular basis in America that we frequently don’t hear about.
“Their message to us was: Do something. For God’s sake, just do something. Well, today, we did,” he said.
“While this bill doesn’t do the whole lot I need, it does include actions I’ve long called for that may save lives,” Biden said.
Tune in as I sign into law S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and deliver remarks on reducing gun violence and saving lives. https://t.co/evfofKN84e
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 25, 2022
The bill is the product of weeks of negotiations led by Murphy and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Biden’s signing comes after the Senate voted for it on Thursday and the House of Representatives approved it on Friday.
It comes amid renewed pressure on Congress to do something about gun control after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at a faculty in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.
The bill doesn’t include restrictions that gun control advocates have been looking for for years, corresponding to raising the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, or bans on assault weapons.
But gun control groups did welcome the motion as the primary comprehensive gun violence prevention bill in 30 years. “The Senate’s motion today is a transparent signal that the old politics around gun safety are over,” the Brady group said in a press release when the bill cleared the Senate.
While the gun control measures are welcomed by many, the bill comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Latest York gun control law in a significant ruling that expands the reach of the Second Amendment.