Each Day, over ninety people in America are killed by guns. This unfortunate reality has hurt too many families across our country. Inaction is not an option, and solutions to protect Americans deserve thoughtful debate and consideration. Everyone should be able to live in their communities without fear.
That is why I am proud to support H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This landmark legislation would require a background check for every firearm purchase, closing loopholes that have allowed domestic abusers and severely mentally ill individuals to obtain dangerous, military-style weapons and use them to commit gun violence. This legislation will go a long way to ensuring that people who are prohibited by law from owning guns do not have access to them.
I’m also proud to lead the bipartisan Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, which closes loopholes that make it easier for perpetrators of dating violence and those convicted of misdemeanor stalking to legally access guns. People with a history of domestic violence shouldn’t have access to guns, plain and simple. Seventy-six percent of women murdered by a current of former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year prior to their murder. Closing loopholes that allow stalkers to access guns will save lives. Period.
Along with my colleagues Susan Brooks, Ted Deutch and Fred Upton, I am proud to champion efforts to pass national red flag legislation to help reduce gun violence. The Jake Laird Act provides grants to encourage states to adopt laws that enable local law enforcement, with probable cause, to temporarily remove and retain firearms from individuals who are determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others. When someone is a threat to themselves or others, family and law enforcement needs tools to act before warning signs escalate to tragedies, and the Jake Laird Act will help provide local law enforcement – who are on the frontlines of responding to these crises – with the resources necessary to keep communities safe, all while protecting due process.
Upon taking office, all of us in Congress took an oath to protect the American people. To honor that promise, we must do all in our power to keep our communities safe from the threat of gun violence.