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Press Release

Fact Sheet: Two Years of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

June 25 marks the second anniversary of the enactment of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) – a landmark law focused on reducing and protecting communities from gun violence. The Justice Department has pursued a cross-department approach with the new tools provided in BSCA, from enhanced background checks to grantmaking. Some of the Department’s most significant accomplishments made possible by BSCA follow below.

Publishing an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to Prevent Stolen Firearm from Being Resold

  • On June 25, the Department published an IFR that, for the first time, will enable federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to voluntarily check the FBI’s National Crime Information Center records to see if a firearm offered for sale was stolen.

  • This IFR will help keep stolen firearms out of FFL inventories, and increase reporting of stolen firearms, helping law enforcement develop leads into firearm theft and trafficking.

Enhanced Checks for Purchasers Under 21

BSCA mandates enhanced background checks for firearm purchasers under the age of 21 (“U21 enhanced checks”), specifically requiring checks of juvenile criminal history and mental health records.

  • Since BSCA’s passage:

    • Over 260,000 U21 enhanced checks have been completed;

    • 800 firearm purchases were prevented solely because the enhanced U21 checks revealed that the purchasers were prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms.

Fighting Illegal Trafficking in Firearms

BSCA created new criminal offenses for unlawfully trafficking in firearms and for straw-purchasing a firearm on behalf of a prohibited person.

  • To date, 525 defendants, in 280 cases, have been charged under these new trafficking and straw purchasing provisions. These cases include significant prosecutions of firearms trafficking linked to transnational cartels and narcotics distribution.

  • Coordination is ongoing with non-Justice Department federal law enforcement to identify criminal investigations eligible for application of new criminal provisions.

  • ATF’s anti-straw-purchasing campaign “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” was expanded, with new events in St. Louis, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fort Worth, Texas, Jackson, Mississippi, and Chantilly, Virginia.

Narrowing the Boyfriend Loophole

BSCA narrowed the “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (MCDVs) from possessing firearms when those crimes occurred in the context of a dating relationship.

  • Nearly 3,000 firearm purchases in 2024 and over 10,000 since 2023 have been denied because of an MCDV conviction (including but not limited to crimes that took place in a dating relationship).

  • More than 2,000 entries have been submitted into the FBI’s background check system (NICS), recording an MCDV conviction involving a dating relationship.

  • Efforts are ongoing to educate local law enforcement and prosecutors on this new prohibition, including:

    • Webinars in 27 states, with 13 more planned;

    • NICS trainings attended by over 500 law enforcement agencies;

    • A BSCA webinar hosted by EOUSA and attended by nearly 1,000 prosecutors and agents; and

    • The Department’s multi-component Domestic Violence Community of Interest (DV-COI) issuing an updated MCDV Reference Card, including guidance on the dating-relationship provision of BSCA.

Funding Violence Prevention and Intervention Programs

BSCA authorized a total of $1.4 billion in funding for new and existing violence-prevention and intervention programs between 2022 and 2026. Thus far, the Department has provided:

Engaged in the Business of Dealing in Firearms

  • From FY21 to FY23, there was a 60% increase in the number of defendants charged with engaging in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms without a license.

  • In April 2024, the Department issued a Final Rule (EIB Rule) implementing the BSCA statutory definition clarifying when a person is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms, and thus required to obtain a federal firearms license.

  • The EIB Rule will promote increased compliance with federal gun laws, thereby increasing the number of background checks performed, and expanding the availability of records for the tracing of crime guns by law enforcement.

Updated June 25, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-807