Jun 21 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the release of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
“As a long-time gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I have been horrified by the recent spate of mass shootings and the link between mental health and gun violence.
“My goal in working with the bipartisan group has been to meaningfully address these problems while protecting the Second Amendment constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I believe the legislation announced today has a very good chance of saving lives while at the same time protecting the rights of responsible gun owners. Unless you’re adjudicated mentally ill or a convicted violent criminal, your Second Amendment rights won’t be affected.
“This legislation is much different than President Biden’s laundry list of gun control proposals which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month. The Senate bill has a chance of being passed and signed into law. The House-passed bill has no chance. I continue to oppose the House-passed bill and will vote against it should it come up for a vote in the United States Senate.”
“My goal has always been to have a constitutional system that can intervene in time to stop unstable, mentally ill individuals from obtaining and using firearms to kill. Our legislation takes important steps to help address this concern.
“In dealing with the mental health component of mass shootings, we provide states with additional resources to act in this area as they see fit. All states will be eligible for health care grants no matter if they have a Red Flag law or not.
“I’m very proud of the fact that my home state of South Carolina has been a leader in the area of working to keep mentally ill individuals from obtaining firearms. Several years ago, South Carolina passed a law that required probate courts in our state to report the names of individuals adjudicated mentally ill within the past ten years to the background check system. South Carolina also continues to report new cases as they arise. I expect additional states will use the resources we make available in this legislation to follow South Carolina’s lead.
“The Senate legislation also expands the scope of mental health records that will be entered into the background check system to capture already adjudicated behavior for juveniles related to violence.”
“This legislation will not magically solve all of our problems when it comes to gun violence. Deranged individuals who are intent on killing and maiming others will find ways to accomplish their hateful objective.
“However, I do think there is a greater likelihood this legislation will help us avert a mass killing than prevent a law-abiding citizen from losing their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“My goal from the start was to have a constitutional system that can intervene in time to stop unstable, mentally ill from obtaining firearms and killing innocent people. The legislation is not perfect, but we must not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. That is why I hope it will pass the U.S. Senate in a strong bipartisan vote.”