Update: The House has passed it, as anticipated.
Fifteen Republican senators joined the Democrats in passing the BSCA and it will likely sail through the House, representing the first major piece of gun control to be passed in a long time.
The previous piece was the rather disastrously bad Clinton crime bill, which included the assault weapon ban. This law mirrors that one in that it retains a sunset provision on the NICS check enhancement to young purchasers.
The bill has a $13 Billion price tag and authorizes red flag funding along with mental health and school resource funding. I hope that districts will actually take the funding for the good parts of this bill and make substantive improvements to their safety and wellness infrastructures.
The red flag provision is probably the most troublesome as it is reliant on the state programs, this will result in a messy soup of laws and legal procedures to flag and unflag individuals that I do not feel a great wellspring of confidence in the government doing well. To be honest, I don’t have a great deal of confidence in the NICS update either, but the age proviso has an expiration date along with an annual reporting requirement that should establish or disprove efficacy.
The closing of the ‘boyfriend’ loophole is so niche as to be a hollow victory for Democrats, a political win that moves a very small number of misdemeanor convictions, moving forward, into the prohibited pile. Not pyrrhic, but close. The cases are also likely to require additional adjudication on the ‘boyfriend’ status, as if it means losing firearm rights a prospective ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ is unlikely to claim that status voluntarily.
President Biden has urged the House of Representatives to get it to his desk, making it likely that the House will not amend and return a draft to the Senate for concurrence and pass the bill as it came with their Democrat majority and any Republican support.
For actual effects of the legislation, I see little becoming apparent. For mid-term propaganda fodder, this is going to be everywhere as either the greatest win or the greatest sin passed.