Meng Secures Gun Safety Provisions
Sep 12, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced today that she secured several provisions to strengthen efforts related to gun safety. The measures were included in fiscal year 2020 spending bills that recently passed the House of Representatives. They consist of the following items:
$1.44 billion for reducing the backlog of National Firearms Act applications and hiring additional industry operations investigators to improve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) oversight of Federal Firearms Licensees.
Directing the Secretary of Education to provide at least $25 million to expand school-based mental health services. Funding would be provided to state educational agencies (SEA), local educational agencies (LEAs), or a consortium of LEAs to increase the number of well-trained school counselors, social workers, psychologists, or other professionals that are qualified to provide mental health assistance to students.
Meng was also proud to support the allocation of $50 million for research to combat gun violence. The funding, which includes $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and $25 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), would be first time in more than two decades that federal funds would be used for the CDC to research firearm injury and mortality.
In addition, Meng supported resources for programs to reduce violent and gun crime including: full funding for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System; additional funds for U.S. Attorneys and the Marshals Service to address violent crime; $80 million in grants to states to improve records used in background checks; $125 million as authorized by the STOP School Violence Act; $100 million for youth mentoring programs; and $20 million for police active shooter training.
Further, the Congresswoman last month signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell which demanded that he call the Senate back from recess to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8) and Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 1112). Meng voted for both measures when they passed the House in February. The two bills have since been blocked by McConnell. Meng has also cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation that aim to improve and strengthen gun safety.
“A single bullet can destroy a life; a single bullet can also destroy entire families and communities. This is not normal – and we must never normalize tragedies that arise from gun violence,” said Meng. “Our country cannot wait any longer. We must act now to save lives and prevent future tragedies. I’m pleased to have secured and supported these critical provisions and as a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I will continue to do all I possibly can to end gun violence.”
Meng’s measures were attached to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill and the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill.