Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Lawmakers call on McConnell to take immediate action to curb gun violence

Aug 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of U.S. lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which both passed the House in February. 

“In February, the new Democratic House Majority took swift action to pass these bipartisan bills which not only save lives, but also has the support of more than 90 percent of the American people,” DeGette and others wrote in a letter sent today to McConnell. “Since that time, you have allowed more than 150 days to pass and countless lives have been lost including those most recently lost in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and the many others who will never make the headlines.”

The letter comes days after the nation was rocked by multiple mass shootings in a single week, and nearly six months after the House passed both pieces of legislation. 

“We know background checks save lives. Every day background checks stop more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun,” DeGette and others wrote. “Any delay to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation only increases the chances that more innocent people in America may suffer from the tragic and needless loss caused by gun violence.”

DeGette, whose district includes Columbine High School, is a sponsor of both the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act. In addition to these gun-safety measures, DeGette has also filed legislation this year – known as the Keep Americans Safe Act – to ban the sale or manufacture of any gun magazine that can hold more than ten rounds; and a separate measure – known as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 – to ban the sale or manufacture of semi-automatic assault rifles, such as the AR-15 used in several recent high-profile shootings.

Following is the full text of the letter sent to McConnell:

August 7, 2019

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate

The Capitol, S-230

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Leader McConnell:

We strongly urge you to take immediate action to call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act.

In February, the new Democratic House Majority took swift action to pass these bipartisan bills which not only save lives, but also has the support of more than 90 percent of the American people.  Since that time, you have allowed more than 150 days to pass and countless lives have been lost including those most recently lost in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and the many others who will never make the headlines. 

This inaction must stop. We know background checks save lives.  Every day background checks stop more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun.  Any delay to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation only increases the chances that more innocent people in America may suffer from the tragic and needless loss caused by gun violence.

Again, we urge you to follow the leadership of the House Democratic Majority and immediately come back into session to pass H.R 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, that could prevent dangerous criminals from obtaining weapons and save lives.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter of great urgency to the American people.

Sincerely,