For the first time in a generation, the House majority has prioritized and enacted a robust gun safety agenda
Washington, DC — 100 days after the House of Representatives passed universal background checks, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, leader of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, applauded the majority for taking decisive action, and demanded the Senate follow suit.
With the nation rocked by the fact that more than 100 Americans die every day from gun violence, the House of Representatives responded by passing legislation, holding hearings about the crisis, and considering additional bills that could address the challenge. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring any proposals from the other chamber up for debate or consideration.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“For over a decade, Congress idled while a gun violence crisis swept across the country. Politicians sought the power and privilege traded by gun lobbyists while hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives. Fed up, we began to turn the page on this tragedy by demanding elected officials do more to protect us.
“100 days ago, leaders who ran on a promise to take action delivered a historic victory for gun safety. That day, we passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. Every day since, the House majority continued fighting for stronger gun laws– fighting to make our country a safer place to live, work, study, worship, and play.
“Now, 100 days later, while the House has been hard at work, the Senate majority remains silent. They fail to hear the voice of America’s majority. The consequences have been devastating. In those 100 days alone, 10,000 people have been shot and killed. Two young men died tackling shooters in their classrooms. Twelve people were murdered at a city workplace in Virginia Beach. Americans are watching Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump and waiting for them to take the next step. How many more lives will be lost before they sign the background checks bill into law?”
The Democratic House majority’s gun safety accomplishments include:
- Strengthening background checks. On February 27, the House passed HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, to require a background check on every gun sale or transfer. A day later they cleared HR 1112, The Enhanced Background Checks Act, to provide the FBI additional time to complete background checks and prevent prohibited people from obtaining guns.
- Keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act successfully passed the House with significant bipartisan support and for the first time ever included new provisions to close the boyfriend and stalker loopholes that have allowed abusers to obtain firearms.
- Funding gun violence research. The House is poised to approve new funding for gun violence research for the first time in over two decades. The research funding was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2020 bill approved by the Appropriations Committee and directs $50 million for dedicated research to address America’s gun violence crisis.
- Offering solutions to the crisis. This year members of the House of Representatives have already introduced more than 60 gun safety bills, including legislation to raise the age to purchase assault weapons to 21, help enact extreme risk laws across the country, and keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of hate crimes.
- Prioritizing conversations about gun violence. Committee Chairs in the House of Representatives and Senate have already held six hearings where gun safety was the primary focus.