Every citizen in our state understands the personal tragedy of gun violence. In the time since the tragic event in Newtown, we’ve witnessed unspeakable acts of gun violence at schools, concerts, houses of worship, theaters, and nearly every other place where Americans should feel safe. I firmly believe that gun violence prevention measures, consistent with Second Amendment rights, are necessary responses to these tragedies. Every day we wait is an ugly reminder of the price of inaction.
For far too long, my colleagues in Congress have failed to address this crisis. For my part, I have supported measures that would ban high-capacity magazines, fix our broken background check system, and ensure those who traffic illegal guns face harsh criminal penalties. Following the tragic deaths of Connecticut residents Lori Jackson and Ethan Song, I also introduced legislation to prevent abusers from buying, selling, or possessing firearms and supported a bill to expand safe storage requirements.
In the 117th Congress, the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act with my support. This commonsense measure would require a criminal background check for every gun sale in both private and public transactions and close the so-called “Charleston Loophole,” which enabled the perpetrator of the horrific shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to purchase his weapon.