Introduced on June 21, a Tuesday, the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” was advertised by the 20 Senators– 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans– that worked it out as largely an expansion of Medicaid and CHIP to accommodate mental and behavioral health for youth and schools. However, with some 81-pages, it is much more complicated than that– even the “one-pager” for the bill is three pages.
Yes, the measure expands social spending in several areas, with estimates as high as $7 billion mentioned by the Congressional Budget Office, but it also includes lots of gun control.
Among its tenets are to offer states up to $750 million to implement and expand “red flag” gun seizure programs, comb juvenile and medical records to be used on “enhanced background checks” for gun transfers to those under age 21– a process that can result in a waiting period of as much as three weeks– up the punishments on straw purchases and gun trafficking to as much 25 years in prison, and make it a lot more likely that someone selling a gun from their personal collection will catch a federal charge.
President Biden signed the bill into law on Saturday morning, just four days after it was announced, having been pushed through Capitol Hill in the sort of record time only reserved for regrettable Pandora’s box style legislation such as the Patriot Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq and Afghanistan.