In 2011, the problem of gun violence hit especially close to home for me when my good friend and colleague, then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot and nearly killed when meeting with her constituents. Six other people died because of that senseless act of violence. The continued increase in mass shootings and gun violence reinforces our country’s need to enact sensible gun violence prevention policies.

I proudly voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in 2022. This life-saving bill marks the most significant piece of gun violence prevention legislation in nearly 30 years.

  • It provides funding for “red flag” laws that allow courts to temporarily remove guns from people who pose a danger to themselves or others;
  • Prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing or owning guns;
  • Enhances background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21, including notifying their local police departments;
  • Creates a federal ban on gun trafficking and straw purchasing;
  • Expands the number of gun dealers required to conduct background checks; and
  • Makes historic investments in our mental health system, and funds school and community safety programs.

We must stop people from owning weapons of war that were intended for battlefields—they have no place in our cities, public spaces, or schools. I am a supporter of the Assault Weapons Ban, which makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Other legislation I am pushing for to keep our communities safe from the scourge of gun violence include: 

  • Bipartisan Background Checks Act and Enhanced Background Checks Act: close multiple loopholes, including the ‘Charleston Loophole’, which allows gun sales after 3 business days, even if the purchaser’s background check has not been completed. Since 1994, background checks have stopped more than 4 million illegal gun sales. In 2019 alone, nearly 170,000 sales were denied—many of which to people with felony convictions.
  • Protecting Our Kids Act: raises the age to purchase semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21, prohibits the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of large capacity magazines, creates new federal offenses for gun trafficking, establishes requirements for the storage of firearms on residential premises, and builds on the ATF’s ban on bump stocks and ghost guns.
  • Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act: allows officers, family, and household members to request federal courts issue extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) against people inclined to harm themselves or others. Individuals subject to ERPO orders must surrender their firearms and ammunition and are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms until the order expires.

The epidemic of gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis that no other developed nation is facing, and it is driven by a failure to enact commonsense gun violence prevention policies. We must enact gun safety measures to keep our communities safe.

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