Spanberger Calls on U.S. Senate Majority Leader McConnell to Bring Bipartisan Background Checks Legislation to a Vote

Nov 21, 2019
Gun Safety
Press

Earlier this Year, the Congresswoman Joined a Bipartisan Majority of the U.S. House to Pass Bipartisan Bills to Close Loopholes & Improve the Background Check System

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger—a Member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force—called on the U.S. Senate to vote on bipartisan gun safety reforms passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives.

In light of recent mass shootings across the country, Spanberger and 131 of her colleagues sent a letter urging U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a vote on bipartisan legislation Spanberger helped pass out of the U.S. House in February. Click here to read their full letter.

Spanberger helped introduce and pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require the same background check standard to be applied to all gun purchases. The House passed this legislation with a bipartisan majority in February. Spanberger also helped pass legislation—the Enhanced Background Checks Act—to close the “Charleston loophole,” which is the loophole that allowed Dylan Roof to purchase a gun before killing eight congregants at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. 

“Just this week, we witnessed yet another tragedy—the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California,” the letter states. “Sadly, it is only the latest example of the gun violence plaguing our country from Orinda to Dayton, Chicago to El Paso, Virginia Beach to Charlotte, and many other communities that never make the headlines. You cannot allow such senseless loss of life to continue unabated. You must act.”

“Again, we urge you to hold a vote on H.R 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act,” the letter concludes. “You can still do the right thing for our communities. The eyes of our nation and of history are on you. Thank you for your attention to this grave matter of urgency.”

Spanberger has continued to press Senate Majority Leader McConnell to bring bipartisan gun safety reforms to the U.S. Senate floor. Last month, she joined gun owners and advocates at a press conference focused on the need to advance House-passed gun violence prevention measures. During the event, Spanberger spoke about her background as a federal law enforcement agent and her experiences handling, training, and responsibly carrying firearms.

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was established in Congress after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Leader McConnell:

We strongly urge you to vote on and pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act.

Just this week, we witnessed yet another tragedy—the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Sadly, it is only the latest example of the gun violence plaguing our country from Orinda to Dayton, Chicago to El Paso, Virginia Beach to Charlotte, and many other communities that never make the headlines. You cannot allow such senseless loss of life to continue unabated. You must act.

More than 260 days ago, the House Democratic Majority acted decisively, on a bipartisan basis, and with the support of more than 90 percent of the American people to pass legislation that addresses our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Since then, you have taken no action on these life-saving measures in the Senate. This delay is unconscionable.

Background checks save lives. Every day, our background check system stops more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from acquiring a firearm. Every day the Senate fails to act increases the likelihood these dangerous individuals can get a gun and lives will be lost.

Again, we urge you to hold a vote on H.R 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. You can still do the right thing for our communities. The eyes of our nation and of history are on you. Thank you for your attention to this grave matter of urgency.

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