WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

“Today, Congress has begun to address the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our communities. Passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, represents the first step in enacting comprehensive gun safety reforms, by requiring a background check for all firearm sales.

"The evidence is clear: background checks work. Every day, background checks stop over 170 felons and some 50 domestic abusers from obtaining a gun from a federally-licensed dealer. However, in some states, those same prohibited purchasers can bypass these background checks by purchasing a firearm from an unlicensed dealer, or at a gun show. H.R. 8 closes the background check loophole, ensuring that under federal law, states that have not already addressed this dangerous loophole are required to do so. Washington state continues to be a leader in promoting gun safety and responsible regulation. With the passage of this legislation the House of Representatives has joined our state in taking a foundational step toward saving lives from gun violence. Congress must pass long-overdue federal gun legislation to prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe.”