Today, senior White House staff held a meeting with approximately 70 state legislators, governors’ office staff, and other state leaders to discuss implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s enhanced background checks for young people under age 21. Already, these enhanced background checks have stopped hundreds of transfers of firearms to the hands of individuals under age 21 who are prohibited from purchasing firearms. Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice explained how the enhanced background checks process works. To maximize the benefits of this provision, the White House urged state leaders to help implement the enhanced background checks by pursuing the following three actions:
- Encourage state repositories of relevant juvenile mental health and criminal justice records to respond to enhanced background checks inquiries;
- Encourage local law enforcement to respond to enhanced background check inquiries; and
- Make changes, if needed, to state privacy laws to ensure those laws do not prohibit states from providing to the federal background check system information relevant to the enhanced background checks.
Meeting participants represented 33 states.
In the months ahead, the White House will continue to partner with state leaders to implement enhanced background checks and advance other life-saving strategies to reduce gun violence.