WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has secured major provisions in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, legislation to reduce gun violence. Senator Heinrich played a key role in including language to stop illegal gun trafficking and define and increase penalties for straw purchasing.
“Far too many families have lost loved ones to gun violence. It’s past time for the Senate to act. I am proud that our bipartisan group has found a meaningful path forward to reduce gun violence and invest in our communities,” said Heinrich.
“This legislation includes funding to increase access to mental health care and keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and their communities. I also worked especially hard on the provisions that will crack down on straw purchasing and trafficking of guns. These provisions will directly cut down on gun violence at home and internationally. That’s because, while trafficking firearms into the U.S. is a major crime, trafficking firearms out of the U.S. hasn’t been. And for years, trafficking out of the United States has supplied the majority of guns used to commit crimes in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. That ends here,” Heinrich continued.
Heinrich added, “Finalizing bill text is a critical step in this process. With all of our momentum and growing bipartisan support, I am determined to get this legislation across the finish line to save lives, protect our kids, and strengthen public safety. We are going to get this done.”
Senator Heinrich is a member of the bipartisan negotiating group of senators that has grown to include 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. The group includes leadership from U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) who announced the final text today.
A one pager on the bill is available here. The full bill text can be found here.
A lifelong gun owner and father, Senator Heinrich has long worked to advance and pass bipartisan policies that save lives, protect public safety, and reduce gun violence. After the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, in which the perpetrator used a bump stock to kill 59 people, Heinrich introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit the sale of bump stock devices and other mechanisms which cause semi-automatic weapons to substantially increase their rate of fire, effectively operating as fully automatic weapons.
Senator Heinrich cosponsored the bipartisan Fix NICS Act, which now requires federal and state authorities to produce background check implementation plans and holds federal agencies accountable for reporting relevant criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). He also led the successful call to repeal the Dickey Amendment, which had previously prevented the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from funding research on gun violence and its effects on public health.