Biden delivers remarks on Safer Communities Act
WASHINGTON D.C. — President Joe Biden spoke to a crowd at the White House Monday to showcase the Safer Communities Act, an act intended to institute new gun control legislation that aims to reduce gun violence on a national level.
The bill, which was passed on June 25, 2022 after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, aims to make tougher requirements for young people trying to buy guns, help local authorities temporarily take away guns from people who are considered dangerous, and deny firearm ownership to a wider range of domestic abusers, but has been overshadowed after the 4th of July parade shooting in Highland Park killed 7 and wounded 46.
Biden hosted a group of guests on the South Lawn of the White House featuring bipartisan lawmakers who put together the act, state and local officials that included Governor J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and families of victims of mass shootings and gun violence.
Among the families of victims was Pam and Trevon Bosley from Chicago, who lost their son and brother, Terrell Bosley, when he was killed by a gunman outside of lights of Zion Ministries in West Pullman after choir practice in 2006. Pam has been a gun control activist ever since.
While the Bosleys feel Biden’s Safer Communities Act is a step in the right direction, they said there is still plenty of work that needs to be done.
“We have to celebrate. All of us know we have a long way to go [and] this is not one answer,” said Pam Bosley. We know we still have work to do. we’re hoping that people do not pause and stop.”
During his speech, Biden repeated his call on congress to do as much as pass legislation at the federal level banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, or to at least require more in-depth background checks and training before being able to own a firearm.
“It’s beautiful to be here in D.C., to be here at the White House and see this bill signed,” said Trevon Bosley. “We like some of the things that are in this bill, but people have to understand, people are still dying. People are being shot in Chicago and other cities as we speak.”
In the case of Trevon’s brother Terrell, he was not killed by an assault weapon, but a .45 caliber handgun purchased in another state, meaning that their mother, Pam, hopes this will help prevent situations like the one that took the life of her son.
“In the city of Chicago, there are strict gun laws,” Pam Bosley said. “But in Indiana and Wisconsin there are not, so this will save other lives.”
The Safer Communities Act provides expanded background checks for individuals under the age of 21 purchasing firearms, $11 billion for mental health services—including increased funding for school-based mental health programs and investments in pediatric mental healthcare services.
The act also prevents those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or felony in dating relationships from buying a firearm for five years, and provides $2.75 billion for crisis intervention order programs and community-based violence prevention initiatives.
“I know he would be happy to know that we’re keeping his name alive,” Trevon Bosley said. “And we’re continuing to do the work to make sure other people don’t go through this pain.”
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