Senator Cornyn

PHOTO: Cornyn Meets with Family of Uvalde Shooting Victim

September 15, 2022

WASHINGTON  – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) met today with Kimberly and Felix Rubio of Uvalde, Texas who tragically lost their daughter Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio earlier this year in the Robb Elementary School shooting. They discussed Sen. Cornyn’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed into law following the shooting and is the first major gun safety bill to become law in almost three decades. See photo below.

This image is in the public domain, but those wishing to do so may credit the Office of Senator John Cornyn.

Background on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act:

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is targeted legislation addressing the specific problems that have led to recent mass shootings and the need for additional mental health and school safety resources. It includes:

Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders

  • Provides resources to states to implement crisis intervention court programs, which could include mental health courts, drug courts, Veterans’ Courts, and Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs.
    • Every state would receive funding based on an existing formula and have the flexibility to choose whichever crisis intervention programs would work best for them. There are no mandates, incentives, penalties, or set-asides.
    • If a state chooses to use any of this funding to implement an extreme risk protection order program, it would be required to meet strict and expansive due process, evidentiary, and standard of proof requirements. 

Investments in Children and Family Mental Health Services

  • Expands the community behavioral health center model nationwide and makes major investments to increase access to mental health and suicide prevention programs and other support services available in the community, including crisis and trauma intervention.

Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

  • Updates the definition of misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to include those who have or have had a current or recent continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with their victim.
  • Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a person with whom they have or have had a current or recent continuing serious relationship of a romantic or intimate nature would have their right to purchase and possess firearms automatically restored after five years elapsed from the end of their criminal sentence if they had committed no further crimes of violence.

Funding for School-Based Mental Health and Supportive Services

  • Invests in programs to expand mental health and supportive services in schools, including early identification and intervention.

Funding for School Safety Resources

  • Invests in programs to help institute safety measures in and around primary and secondary schools, supports school violence prevention efforts and provides training to school personnel and students.

Clarification of the Definition of Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer

  • Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements.

Telehealth Investments

  • Invests in programs that increase access to mental and behavioral health services for youth and families in crisis via telehealth.

Under-21 Enhanced Review Process

  • For buyers under 21 years of age whose background checks are flagged for cause, the bill allows up to seven additional days for the FBI to conduct an enhanced review into the possibly disqualifying juvenile and mental health adjudication records. 

Penalties for Straw Purchasing

  • Cracks down on criminals, cartel members, and terrorists who illegally straw purchase and traffic guns.