Sinema, Everytown Outline Historic Investments for Mental Health, Violence Prevention in Sinema-led Bipartisan Safer Communities Law

Apr 24, 2023

Senator, advocates, and other Arizona leaders spoke about implementing the policies and $15 billion in mental and behavioral health care Sinema secured preventing community and school violence

PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema held a roundtable with advocates from Everytown for Gun Safety, Students Demand Action, and the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, as well as Attorney General Kris Mayes to discuss implementing historic investments in mental health and violence prevention from the Sinema-led Bipartisan Safer Communities law. 
“The policies we passed and resources we secured in our Bipartisan Safer Communities law will save lives, make Arizona communities safer and healthier, and give Arizona families peace of mind. Our law represents the kind of real solution that makes a lasting difference for the folks I’m honored to serve,” said Sinema, sponsor and lead negotiator of the Bipartisan Safer Communities law.

“Senator Sinema was on the frontlines of the fight to pass the first major federal gun safety bill in nearly 30 years, so it’s only fitting that she’s now joining forces with Arizona’s frontline gun safety advocates,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has the potential to save countless lives in Arizona, and we applaud these leaders for working together to make good on that promise.”

“Thank you Senator Sinema for working across the aisle in order to keep our families safe from gun violence. Survivors are weary of the decades of inaction in Washington. We want to keep our children safe, so does Senator Sinema,” said Mary Reed, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action and a Senior Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network who was shot and wounded at the Gabby Giffords’s Congress On Your Corner event at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011. “Twelve years ago, I was shot three times protecting my teenage daughter. No other family should have to suffer from gun violence, so for the past 12 years I worked for common-sense gun safety laws like the one championed by Senator Sinema last summer.”

In the wake of the May 24, 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Sinema formed a bipartisan group of solutions-focused Senators and led negotiations on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act – historic legislation breaking nearly 30 years of inaction by investing in community and school violence prevention and mental health services.  
Now law, the Sinema-led legislation supports state crisis intervention orders, including $750 million to administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons stay out of the hands of dangerous individuals, enhances the review process for buyers under the age of 21, including strengthened background checks, improves access to mental health services for children, youth, and families, protects victims of domestic violence by preventing convicted ex-boyfriends and stalkers from obtaining guns, funds school-based mental health and supportive services, including $500 million to increase the number of mental health providers in schools, invests school safety resources, including $300 million to institute safety measures in and around schools, and more.
In February, Sinema announced the first round of funding from her law coming to Arizona – $6 million to support Arizona crisis intervention programs designed to make communities safer by preventing gun violence and suicide. As funding becomes available, the Senator is meeting with Arizona local leaders, stakeholders, and advocates – like those attending today’s roundtable discussion – to ensure the investments are implemented efficiently and effectively.
Sinema, an experienced school social worker who has taught at ASU’s School of Social Work for over 20 years, used her social work background when writing and negotiating the historic Bipartisan Safer Communities law.
Click HERE for more photos of the event.