The “Protecting Our Kids Act” includes Several Provisions the Congresswoman has Consistently Supported — including Raising the Age to Purchase Assault-Style Rifles, Encouraging Safe Storage, Cracking Down on Straw Purchases, & Closing Bump Stock Loopholes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass several commonsense gun violence prevention measures to keep families, communities, and law enforcement safe across the country.
In the wake of the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas last month, Spanberger has called for Congress to take long overdue steps to protect the lives of American citizens. The Protecting Our Kids Act — which passed in the U.S. House today — includes eight individual provisions to prevent mass shootings and combat gun violence in America, including raising the purchase age for assault-style weapons, improving safe firearms storage, and limiting access to large-capacity magazines.
“The American people expect action from their lawmakers — particularly as we grasp the horrors of the slaughter in Uvalde, the attack in a Buffalo supermarket, and dozens of mass shootings across the country in recent weeks. The provisions in this legislation are straightforward, and they make sense to Virginia’s gun owners and non-gun owners alike,” said Spanberger. “As someone who previously carried a gun for my job every day, I understand the responsibility that comes with carrying a firearm. The individual provisions in the Protecting Our Kids Act would demonstrate responsible steps towards keeping our communities safe. As the U.S. Senate continues its negotiations, I will continue to be a vocal supporter of commonsense gun violence prevention measures. In our district, we have seen the horrors of gun violence against Virginians — and I take these votes in honor of their stories.”
The Protecting Our Kids Act includes the following gun violence prevention measures:
- Raise the Age Act. This legislation — which Spanberger cosponsored — would raise the lawful, federal age to purchase certain assault-style rifles from 18 to 21 years old.
- Prevent Gun Trafficking Act. To combat illegal gun purchases and transfers, this bill would create new federal offenses for the use of “straw purchasers.” By establishing this new law, straw purchasing would be prosecuted as an independent offense.
- Keep Americans Safe Act. This bill would establish new federal offenses for the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of large-capacity magazines — with exceptions for certain law enforcement uses and the possession (but not sale) of grandfathered magazines.
- Untraceable Firearms Act. Ghost guns are firearms that lack serials numbers, meaning they are untraceable and not subject to existing federal firearm laws. This legislation would make sure ghost guns are subject to existing federal firearm regulation by amending the definition of “firearm” under federal law to include gun kits and partial receivers, as well as changing the definition of “manufacturing firearms” to include firearms assembled using 3-D printing.
- Ethan’s Law. Spanberger cosponsored this legislation, which would set federal standards for safe gun storage on residential premises — while also giving states incentives to create and implement safe gun storage laws. The legislation’s namesake, Ethan Song, was 15 years old when he accidentally shot and killed himself with an unsecured firearm in a friend’s home.
- Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act. This bill — also cosponsored by Spanberger — would impose a penalty of up to five years in prison if a minor who is ineligible to possess a firearms accesses an unsecured firearm and then causes injury or death.
- Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act. A bump stock allows an assault-style weapon to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger. This legislation would define bump stocks, list them under the National Firearms Act, and ban the manufacture, sale, or possession of bump stocks for civilian use.
- Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act. This legislation would require the U.S. Attorney General to establish best practices for the safe storage of firearms.
Since arriving in Congress, Spanberger has been a consistent voice for commonsense gun violence prevention legislation that can protect the lives of families, communities, and law enforcement.
In both 2021 and 2019, Spanberger voted to pass bipartisan gun safety legislation that would close existing federal background check loopholes and make sure individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law are unable to purchase firearms.
Spanberger has also voted twice to pass legislation to close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allowed Dylann Roof — a man prohibited by law from buying firearms — to purchase a gun before killing nine congregants at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. This legislation extends the background check length to 10 days, so that federal law enforcement have the time they need to complete necessary background checks.
Spanberger is a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which was established in Congress after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.