WASHINGTON, DC (WVNS) — Yesterday, June 23, 2022, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed, including statements from Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Senator Joe Manchin on the legislation for the state of West Virginia.

Recent worldwide shootings from a grocery a store in Buffalo, New York to an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas have caused a major impact contributing to this legislation.

The goal of this legislation is to reduce gun violence by giving law enforcement and prosecutors new tools to prosecute gun traffickers. It would also fully explain on who needs a federal license to buy and sell firearms, include more stronger, advanced background checks, which goes deeper into mental health starting at 16 years or older who are seeking to purchase a firearm or anything related.

The legislation would also touch upon the “boyfriend loophole,” which makes it illegal for someone who has a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, which would prohibit the significant other from purchasing or possessing a firearm for approximately five years. Also, funding would go towards extreme risk protection order programs, drug courts, and other crisis intervention programs.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito had a strong statement against the legislation explaining the challenges that follow and West Virginia’s views on gun laws:

“Let me be very clear: This bill does not take away, restrict, or prohibit the rights of any law-abiding citizen from owning or possessing a firearm. I’ve heard from many West Virginians about this, and the biggest misconception I’ve been hearing is about red flag laws. This bill does not include any provision that would federalize red flag laws. West Virginia state lawmakers also passed a law—which I strongly support—that would effectively prevent state and local police from enforcing any federal gun law that exceeds those existing in the state. This bill respects that decision. In other words: West Virginia is not and will never be a red flag law state. The challenge of combating gun violence is broad, and this bill includes resources for mental health and school safety. It also recognizes the value of the NICS System, which is managed primarily in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The men and women at the FBI Center there do a stellar job processing record amounts of background checks, and I will always support their important work.”

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Senator Joe Manchin, who is for the legislation shared hopeful views on why he feels it’s important for West Virginia and their communities:

“If you can’t, as a parent, or grandparent send your child off to school, knowing full well they’re going to return home safe. If you have that doubt in your mind, and that child has that doubt, and they’re scared to go to school, then something is wrong with our system in America…But the bottom line is, we have got to take a position that we’re going to protect our children, this is what it’s about. It’s the child protection bill, as far as I’m concerned.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Hopefully the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will stay true to its word and serve it’s goal purposely.