Washington, D.C. — Today, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA)—alongside former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) on the eighth anniversary of the shooting that nearly took her life—introduced a bipartisan bill requiring universal background checks for the sales and transfers of firearms. Chelsea Parsons, vice president for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement applauding the introduction:
The American people spoke in November, and the new congressional majority is taking swift action to answer their call. This bill marks a significant step toward making our nation’s gun laws stronger and our communities safer. Rather than settling for a hollowed-out compromise, this bipartisan, common-sense legislation takes a strong approach toward ensuring that nearly every gun sale will go through a background check and resets the baseline for federal background check legislation. Today’s bill introduction is proof positive that we can put politics aside to finally take concrete steps to address this national epidemic that takes the lives of 96 Americans every day.
While there remains much work to be done to close dangerous gaps in our nation’s gun laws and provide much-needed resources to communities that bear a disproportionate burden of gun violence, this legislation is a critical first step. It is a positive indication that the new Congress has heard the rallying cries from all parts of the country and understands that thoughts and prayers alone will not stop the scourge of gun violence.
Now is the time for bold action, and we applaud Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Thompson for their leadership in introducing this legislation. We are also profoundly grateful to Gabby Giffords, the community of survivors of gun violence, and all of the advocates around the country for their tireless work to make this legislation closer to reality. We look forward to its swift passage in the House.
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