|House Passes Monumental Gun Violence Prevention Legislation|
Urge your Senator to bring gun violence prevention to the floor today March 4, 2019Washington, D.C. – Last week, the House of Representatives passed monumental legislation aimed at preventing gun violence in America. On Wednesday February 27, the House passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 to expand universal background checks on all gun sales and on Thursday February 28, H.R. 1112, Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, which extends the amount of time a background check can be completed before the sale of a firearm. These bills are the most significant gun violence prevention legislation passed in more than two decades.
H.R. 8 expands universal background checks to private sellers to ensure that all gun sales are run through the national criminal background check system. Expanding background checks on guns sales is the fastest and most effective way to keep communities safe from gun violence. Currently, only federally licensed gun sellers are required to complete background checks, but private sellers are not required to perform background checks for gun sales. This legislation would prevent guns from being sold to felons, domestic abusers, fugitives and others who are prohibited from owning guns.
The Senate companion bill, S. 42 the Background Check Expansion Act expands universal background checks but is not currently scheduled for a vote in the Senate. Gun violence is a public health epidemic, as nearly 40,000 Americans died last year from gun violence. The time is now for the Senate to make gun violence prevention a high priority.
Last October, SOPHE gathered nearly 200 public health advocates on Capitol Hill to advocate for a public health approach to gun violence prevention for its groundbreaking 20th anniversary Advocacy Summit. SOPHE designed their public health approach to preventing gun violence based on theSOPHE’s Gun Violence Resolution. In this resolution, SOPHE urges Congress, states and local governments to restrict accessibility and availability of guns; and educate the public on the dangers associated with firearms and the need for firearm safety.
Since passage of the resolution, SOPHE has advocated on behalf of a number of gun violence prevention initiatives including repealing the Dickey Amendment, funding gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control, and reinstating the ban on assault weapons among a host of other initiatives aimed at stemming the tide of gun violence.
SOPHE supports gun violence prevention legislation, as gun safety is a public health epidemic.
The time to act is now! Send a letter to your senator to urge them to support background check legislation in the Senate.
Contact: Cicily Hampton, PhD, MPA | 202.408.9804 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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