President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan gun control bill into law on Saturday morning, hailing it as “the most significant law” on the topic “in the last 30 years.”
The “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” was developed by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas shocked the nation. The bill was pushed through both the Senate and the House with bipartisan support and is viewed as the most significant federal gun control legislation passed in decades. (RELATED: Senate Votes To Begin Debate On Bipartisan Gun Control Legislation Shortly After Releasing Its Contents)
“I was there 30 years ago, the last time this nation passed meaningful gun safety laws,” Biden said at the White House on Saturday morning. “And I’m here today for the most significant law to be passed since then, the last 30 years. I would like to thank the leaders and members of the House and Senate for working together to get this done. I especially want to thank the families [of the victims].”
“They lost their child, their husband, their wife,” Biden added. “Nothing is going to fill that void in their hearts. But they led the way, so other families will not have to experience the pain and trauma that they had to live through.”
Although Biden noted that the “bill doesn’t do everything” he called for, the president highlighted that “it does include” some of the actions he’s been pushing for. The “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” has funding for crisis intervention programs, and this funding can be used for things like “red flag” programs and mental health courts.
The bill also addresses “the boyfriend loophole,” which had allowed for someone convicted of a domestic violence crime to own a gun if they didn’t live with their victim, weren’t married to their victim or didn’t have children with their victim, CNN reported.
The “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” essentially changes the definition of what dating is – now, according to the bill, it is defined as “a relationship between individuals who have or have recently had a continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature,” NPR reported.
The bill Biden touted on Saturday doesn’t go as far as banning particular kinds of guns or implementing a federal universal background check system. Still, it also has provisions that expand background checks if an individual is between 18-21 years old and provides additional school safety funding, according to NPR. The background check provision is not permanent, as it expires in 10 years, The New York Times noted.
“God willing, this is going to save a lot of lives,” Biden said as he signed the bill into law.