Federal Legislative Report 117-11

Delivered via email: June 23, 2022

House and Senate Pass Historic Gun Reform Legislation 

Out of the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the United States House and Senate have passed historic gun reform legislation. Congress has not acted on gun reform legislation since 1994. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes a number of provisions to expand access to mental health services, increase school security, and place more restrictions on those under the age of 21 purchasing a gun.
The legislation provides direct appropriations to expand mental health services and upgrade school security.  
  • $750 million for crisis intervention programs through the U.S. Department of Justice 
  • $300 million for STOP School Violence school safety programs, including school resource officers and facility enhancements
  • $250 million for community violence intervention programs
  • Close to $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enhance seven existing mental health programs to increase capacity and service availability, 
  • Over $2 billion for the U.S. Department of Education to provide grants to states and schools to increase the number of school-based mental health service providers, and increase student capacity for after-school programs, 
Another key element of the gun reform legislation that does not have a specific dollar amount attached to it, but can provide schools funding to address mental health, is to require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to issue guidance to state Medicaid programs outlining how states may receive Medicaid funding for health services provided in school settings. The guidance would focus on forming partnerships with community-based behavioral health providers. Federal guidance on how schools can claim Medicaid funding has not been updated in 20 years.

There are also reforms that will be implemented to limit how those under the age of 21 purchase a gun. Background checks will be expanded to see if there are any disqualifying reasons in their state or local law enforcement juvenile record that may prohibit them from purchasing a gun. If a disqualifying item is found, the FBI will be tasked with investigating the matter within three days.