WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released a statement following his vote in support of the Uvalde response legislation, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
“As we responded to Uvalde, my priorities were to protect law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights, to provide mental health to help prevent future episodes like this but as well as to address issues such as teenage suicide, and to harden schools,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill does all three. Indeed, it has stronger protections for Second Amendment rights for the law-abiding than current law because if a state decides to pass a red flag law and wishes to have federal financial support, it must be stronger due process protections than currently exist.”
A coalition of leading law enforcement, mental health, domestic violence, and education groups have endorsed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and multiple Editorial Boards have voiced their support.
Fraternal Order of Police/International Association of Chiefs of Police: “The legislation, which is a uniquely bipartisan effort, contains additional tools and resources for our communities to address the criminal misuse of firearms and strengthens our ability to provide mental health resources and services for those that need it.” (Fraternal Order of Police/International Association of Chiefs of Police, 6/23/22)
Wall Street Journal: “GOP negotiators led by Texas Sen. John Cornyn also blocked several Democratic Senate demands… The bill preserves gun rights while trying to keep guns away from the dangerous. That’s a step forward.” (Wall Street Journal, “A Sensible Senate Gun Deal,” 6/22/22)
National Sheriffs’ Association: “We appreciate the authors coming together on a bill that can actually save lives, which is written in such a way that allows the States to craft their own unique answers to the questions raised by gun violence.” (Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Thompson, National Sheriffs’ Association, 6/22/22)
Major Cities Chiefs Association: “[The MCCA’s Firearms Violence Policy] includes several common-sense references that will help keep communities safe while upholding the 2nd Amendment and protecting due process. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act also strikes this balance… The MCCA firmly believes that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will help save lives.” (President Chief Jeri Williams, Major Cities Chiefs Association, 6/22/22)
National Network to End Domestic Violence: “This provision is an important first step… Many previously unprotected victims will now have some safety from gun violence.” (President and CEO Deborah Vagins, National Network to End Domestic Violence, 6/22/22)
National District Attorneys Association: “The bipartisan package includes measures that not only address the use of firearms by criminal actors, but also recognizes the need to address the root causes of mental health challenges while also strengthening the ability of law enforcement to protect schools… We strongly urge the Senate to move swiftly on this bipartisan package.” (President Billy West, National District Attorneys Association, 7/23/22)
National Alliance on Mental Illness: “NAMI applauds the work of a bipartisan group of Senators recognizing the urgent need to invest in mental health services for our nation’s youth and families. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act will expand mental health resources in schools and increase the availability of mental health care across the country.” (CEO Daniel Gillison, National Alliance on Mental Illness, 6/22/22)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: “The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act offers common sense reform on gun safety, including partially closing the ‘boyfriend loophole.’” (National Domestic Violence Hotline, 6/22/22)
National Association of Police Organizations: “This bill contains robust due process and legal protections for citizens to ensure that no individual who has the legal right to own and possess a firearm can be denied that Constitutional right… the Safer Communities Act will indeed help make our communities safer.” (National Association of Police Organizations, 6/23/22)
National Association of School Psychologists & 99 Other Mental Health and Education Groups:“As national experts and advocates coming together as a coalition, we are grateful for the thoughtful, bipartisan efforts in response to the many tragedies our country has experienced including the recent tragedy at Robb Elementary in Uvalde… All these evidence-based investments are necessary to avert preventable tragedies in the weeks, months, and years to come.” (100 leading mental health and education groups, 7/23/22)
American Psychological Association: “The American Psychological Association commends the Senate taking a first step toward addressing our nation’s public health crisis of gun violence with the introduction of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act… We look forward to working with Congress to pass this much-needed bill.” (President Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D., American Psychological Association, 6/22/22)