Gun Violence Prevention

Gun Violence Prevention

Addressing the Epidemic of Gun Violence

I have been so inspired by the high school students from Parkland and across the country who have stood up against the NRA and are fundamentally changing the politics around gun violence prevention in this country. The majority of adults in the United States think that gun laws should be stricter, and yet, the gun lobby has used their money and our broken campaign finance system to stack Congress with their supporters, and block any possibility of reform, against the will of the people. But because of the activism of these students, we finally have a chance to pass common-sense gun violence prevention legislation.
 
I support comprehensive federal background check legislation and more funding to enforce the laws. Everyone who purchases a gun in this country should have to undergo a criminal background check, regardless of where or from whom they purchase their gun, which means we need to close loopholes like the gun show loophole. I also support a federal gun licensing system, and background checks required on ammunition sales nationwide, similar to what was recently implemented here in California. And we need to hold gun manufacturers and gun store owners liable when their products are sold and used illegally.
 
I also believe that we need to ban assault weapons. Military grade weapons have no place on our streets. We need better deterrence against illegal gun trafficking and guns passing through straw purchasers into the hands of those with criminal backgrounds, histories of violence, or serious mental illness, and we need to pass legislation to make illegal gun sales and handovers a federal crime. 
 
And while I support the Department of Justice’s amended ATF regulations that mandate bump stocks be subjected to the same federal regulations as machine guns, I also support including such a provision in federal legislation to prevent any future Department of Justice from reversing course.
 
I am heartened that, in December 2019 – for the first time in more than two decades – Congress appropriated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health to study gun violence as a public health threat. As a Member of Congress, I will continue the push for additional funding.
 
We also need to recognize the intrinsic link between gun violence and domestic violence. More than half of women murdered with guns are killed by family members or intimate partners. Analysis of mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 shows that 54 percent of mass shootings were instances of domestic violence. 
 
I support federal red flag laws, to allow the court to seize weapons from someone they deem a risk to themselves or others – and I support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). I also support federal grants for community-based violence prevention programs to support communities that are disproportionately affected by gun violence.
 
It’s time for Congress to stop playing politics with people’s lives and get to work to keep our communities safe.