Safer America Plan
The White House announced (July 21st) a “Safer America Plan,” that proposes to invest $35 billion in new funding in law enforcement, judicial, and violence prevention programs. The President’s FY 2023 budget request proposed $30 billion in new mandatory funding as part of these efforts, but said at the time (March) that it would be providing details in the future on the proposal.
The elements of the proposal include the hiring and training of 100,000 new police officers in the through the Federally-funded COPS Hiring Program; advancing a new $15 billion, ten-year state & local grant program to finance violent crime prevention and/or response efforts to non-violent situations (e.g., health situations) to reduce burdens on police forces.; and, expanding financial support for Community Violence Intervention programs.
At this time, it is not clear from the release if further action is needed on the part of Congress to make the plan's resources available for these purposes.
Community-Based Violence Prevention Funding
The bipartisan gun safety and control bill included an infusion of new funding – $250 million – for community-based violence prevention initiatives. Such activities received just $50 million this year (FY 2022) within the Department of Justice.
Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization
FY 2022 omnibus appropriations included reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Authorization for VAWA programs expired in 2018 and were not reauthorized in part because of a dispute over the insistence of some lawmakers to enact gun control provisions to close a so-called “boyfriend loophole” in Federal gun laws. This matter was dropped.
Funding for VAWA programs in the omnibus totals $575 million, a 12% from the FY 2021 level. VAWA programs support such activities as rape prevention programs, domestic violence hotlines, counseling and other health services, women’s shelters and transitional housing.
Organized Retail Crime
The CEOs of 20 leading retail companies called on Congress (December 9, 2021) to address organized retail crime by passing the Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act. The legislation directs online platforms that allow for third-party sellers of consumer products to verify the identity of high-volume third-party sellers. The bill also would enable consumers to verify basic identification and contact information for high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products on online marketplaces.
The proposal (H.R.5502) was reported out of committee in the House (November 17, 2022), but no action has been taken by the full House. The Senate has an identical proposal (S.936), but no action has been taken to date.
Gun Crime Prevention/Response
The Biden Administration announced (June 23, 2021) a "comprehensive strategy" tied to gun crime. Key components of the strategy include:
Establishing a "zero tolerance" policy within the Department of Justice for gun dealers for "willful violations of the law". Dealer licenses will be revoked for first time transferring a firearm to a prohibited persons, failing to run a background check, falsifying records, failing to respond to ATF tracing requests, or refusing to permit ATF inspections.
Launching gun trafficking, cross-jurisdictional strike forces to stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities.
Addressing through an ATF rulemaking process the definition of "stabilizing braces" in determining when a rifle is intended to be shot from a person's shoulder and in turn the appropriate level of regulation under gun management laws. Short-barreled rifles are considered unusual and dangerous, and such stabilizing braces are known to be used for such weapons resulting in less-restrictive regulation.
The Biden Administration outlined its progress in December 2021 on these and other initiatives.
No Results Found
National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
Stalkerware Ban - Spytone
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned so-called "stalkerware" phone app Spytone, which allowes purchasers to surreptitiously monitor photos, text messages, web histories, GPS locations, and other personal information of the phone on which the app was installed without the device owner’s knowledge. Ultimately, this app made it easy for stalkers and abusers to monitor potential targets and steal sensitive information about their physical movements, phone use, and online activities.
Status: the FTC finalized its decision on December 21, 2021.
Beneficial Ownership Rule
This is a proposed rule of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Treasury Department that is intended to help address money laundering and other crimes through anonymously-owned businesses (a.k.a, "shell companies"). The rule requires entities to report so-called "beneficial ownership" information to FinCEN consistent with the Corporate Transparency Act.
Status: this proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2021.
Ghost Guns - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
This is a proposed rule updating the definition of a "firearm", as well as definition to certain firearm components, so that those definitions more accurately reflect firearm configurations not explicitly captured under the existing definitions. This is intended to help law enforcement to improve the ability to trace ownership of guns, including so-called "Ghost Guns" which are often made from standalone parts or weapon parts kits, or by using 3D printers or personally owned or leased equipment, without any records or a background check.
Status: this proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2021.
Gun Stabilizing Braces - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
This is a proposed rule that would clarify when a rifle is intended to be fired from the shoulder. Devices marketed as firearm stabilizing braces can turn pistols into short-barreled rifles subject to the National Firearms Act. These braces can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.
Status: this proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on June 10, 2021.