Long Overdue Action on Gun Violence Prevention
After years of tragic, irresponsible, and deadly inaction, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two pieces of historic gun violence prevention legislation this week. H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, expands background checks for gun purchases and transfers and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, expands the background check review period from three business days to ten. These bills have the potential to prevent thousands of senseless killings caused by firearms.
Currently, licensed gun dealers are required under federal law to conduct background checks. The problem, however, is that 80 percent of firearms used for criminal means are purchased from unlicensed gun dealers and, thus, without a background check. These two bills promote the kind of common-sense policy that the American people want, that our nation needs, and that the new Democratic majority will continue to pursue in the 116th Congress.
Gun violence prevention should not be a partisan issue. Regardless of political ideology or party affiliation, everybody wants to know that their loved ones are safe at school, places of worship, concerts, or the streets of their communities. This legislation can help us advance that peace of mind.