Members of the Colorado congressional delegation demanded the US Senate act on universal background checks
Local gun violence advocates urged federal leaders to prioritize gun safety laws
August 26, 2019 — Coming together in Aurora to demand stronger gun laws, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords, hosted a town hall with Representatives Jason Crow, Joe Neguse, and Ed Perlmutter, March For Our Lives Colorado, Ceasefire Colorado, and local gun violence prevention advocates for a conversation with local leaders, survivors, and activists on federal gun laws, school safety and more.
“Stopping gun violence takes courage—the courage to do what’s right and protect our kids and communities from gun violence,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “Tonight, we heard from courageous survivors, advocates, and leaders who are taking action to stop gun violence. Sadly, that courage is absent from the service of Senator Cory Gardner, who has gotten over $4 million in support from the NRA while opposing commonsense gun safety measures like universal background checks. Gardner’s refusal to listen to the overwhelming majority of Coloradans who are demanding action on gun safety is making our communities less safe. Our gun violence crisis needs leadership. Senator Gardner must vote in favor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, or we’ll elect a senator who will.”
The town hall followed the release of two ads in Colorado pressuring the Senate to hold a vote on the bipartisan background checks bill. The ads, part of a $750,000 campaign, illustrate the devastating impact gun violence is having on our families and calls out Senator Cory Gardner for failing to support HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.
Cory Gardner’s extreme fealty to the gun lobby makes him an outlier in a state that has repeatedly strengthened its gun laws in recent years in response to America’s gun violence crisis. The NRA has consistently given Gardner ‘A’ ratings and has spent nearly $4 million to keep him in Washington. The investment has paid off: In 2018, Gardner even attempted to block a modest proposal to improve records reporting to background check system that otherwise enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled Senate.
H.R. 8 was introduced on January 8th, which also marked the eighth anniversary of the Tucson shooting. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords joined Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Thompson for a press conference on Capitol Hill to unveil the legislation. In the months since, Giffords has been publicly advocating for swift passage of the bill. Giffords elevated the voices of Americans demanding action by teaming up with March for Our Lives, Town Hall Project, TOMS, and Levi’s to host a nationwide series of Gun Safety Town Halls rallying support for H.R. 8.
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. Leader McConnell has since blocked the passage of HR 8, refusing to bring any proposals from the other chamber up for debate or consideration.