The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (S. 2938) includes several APA-supported gun violence prevention provisions, including expanding funding for state Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), enhancing background checks for firearm buyers under age 21, closing the so-called boyfriend loophole and requiring registration of more firearms.
The legislation also includes several supplemental appropriations provisions for mental health programs that APA supports including funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, suicide prevention programs, increasing access to school-based mental health services and additional funding for the 9-8-8 Suicide Lifeline which will go live next month.
The APA and our counterparts in the House of Medicine and the Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder advocacy community continue to stress to policy makers and the public that patients with mental health conditions should not be conflated with gun violence perpetrators. Though we continue to reiterate this message in order to ensure that public messaging and policy making does not further stigmatize individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders, we also support these investments in mental health programs that expand access to those who need it.
Please contact your Senators and tell them to vote YES in support of S. 2938, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.