President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that provides grants to nonprofits and faith-based organizations to secure their facilities against a potential terrorist attack.
The Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations from Terrorism Act authorizes $75 million annually for five years for the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). Of the total, $50 million will be available for nonprofits located within high-risk urban areas, and the remaining $25 million will be available for organizations that fall outside of those areas. The funding may be used for target-hardening activities, training for personnel, and any other appropriate activity.
“Ensuring that synagogues, religious and cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations have the resources and training they need to secure their facilities is one way Congress can help address this unnecessary violence that has tragically become more and more common,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), one of the bill’s sponsors, said. “As I’ve said many times, there is no place for hatred or bigotry of any kind toward our fellow citizens. The threats and senseless attacks we’ve seen across our country are attacks on our values, and this bipartisan legislation will help protect faith and cultural based institutions in Ohio and across our country. I’m proud that President Trump has signed this important legislation into law.”
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) also sponsored the bill.
“We must take urgent action to protect synagogues, churches, and mosques from targeted attacks that we continue to see across the country,” Peters said. “Houses of worship should be safe havens, and people of faith should feel secure when practicing their religion – it is a founding principle of this nation. I am proud that the President has signed our crucial bill into law, which will help religious leaders across the country safeguard their congregations from this targeted, hateful violence.”
While the bill authorizes $75 million annually for the program for the next five years, Congress has the authority to appropriate more.