The House Appropriations Committee FY22 funding bill includes $40 million for a program to pressure states into establishing “Red Flag” gun confiscation laws in an effort to support “safer communities” and expand “gun violence prevention efforts.”
According to a draft of the FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies funding bill released July 11, nearly $150 million in “Gun Violence Reduction Grants” is “aimed at reducing gun violence.” In addition to the $40 million focused on “Red Flag” laws, the committee included $100 million for grants to assist states in improving their National Instant Criminal Background Check systems for gun purchases and $10 million to “develop and expand gun buyback and relinquishment programs.”
Biden had announced the concept of the red flag rule in April and directed the Department of Justice to publish a model rule within 60 days. At the time, Biden called on Congress to pass “an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law,” but said the White House will move forward with gun control policy “whether Congress acts or not.”
The DOJ released its model red flag legislation in June and said that it would “make it easier for states to craft ‘extreme risk protection orders’ authorizing courts to temporarily bar people in crisis from accessing firearms,” and that “by allowing family members or law enforcement to intervene and to petition for these orders before warning signs turn into tragedy, ‘extreme risk protection orders’ can save lives.”
The proposed funding comes as President Joe Biden’s administration continues pushing for increased gun control.
Biden also nominated David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after being an agent for almost 25 years and working as a policy advisor for a gun control advocacy group established by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Current and former ATF agents have called Chipman has been called a “rabid partisan” who’s taken a “hostile position against the Second Amendment.”
“The Democrats are mounting an all-out assault on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans,” said Chris Hartline, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to Politico. “The NRSC will certainly be closely watching which Democrats stand up for their constituents and which Democrats continue to take their orders from Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders and the radicals that run today’s Democrat Party.”
The funding bill also aims to boost economic development in distressed communities, bolsters funding for local law enforcement, provides funding for programs under the Violence Against Women Act, and “confronts the climate crisis with strong funding for climate resilience and research at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation.” The bill proposes increasing funding by $10.2 billion from 2021, totaling $81.6 billion.