Every day, we read stories of more tragic and senseless violence across our nations. We can come together to reduce gun violence with commonsense action, while at the same time respecting and protecting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.
Tragic gun violence is all too common in our country. It is time for Congress to enact reasonable laws to keep the deadliest weapons off our streets and to reduce instances of violence, while still protecting law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to bear arms.
We must take a comprehensive, commonsense approach toward violence, investigating its root causes and investing in programs to help prevent crime before it happens. This means making mental-health treatment readily available to those who need it and providing safe places for kids who otherwise might turn to gangs or violence.
Extending Universal Background Checks
Right now, 40 percent of all gun sales are completed without background checks. We need to close the loopholes on background checks, a measure that will not add any new hurdles to gun ownership but would simply extend the same background checks already in place for retailers. This proposal would help protect against sales of guns to criminals, terrorists, and the mentally ill.
I am proud to introduce the “Ghost Guns Are Guns” bill with my colleague Rep. Espaillat to extend background checks to gun assembly kits purchased online. An egregious loophole in current law allows purchasers of these essentially untraceable mail-order weapon kits to avoid federal background checks. This commonsense proposal would close a loophole and take a small step toward making our communities safer.
Making Gun Trafficking a Federal Crime
It is time past we finally enact commonsense legislation that makes gun trafficking a federal crime, which is why I cosponsored the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act that would crack down on straw purchases.
Limiting High-Capacity Magazines and Silencers
We should limit the sale of high-capacity magazines that allow for dozens of bullets to be fired without having to stop and reload. I also oppose relaxing regulations on the sale of silencers which would make the job of our law enforcement professionals more difficult and dangerous.
Restoring the Assault Weapons Ban
Since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of crimes committed with these weapons. Military-style weapons have no place on our streets, and I—like the overwhelming majority of federal, state and local law enforcement—believe it is time to renew the sensible ban on these weapons.