Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06), Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) to reintroduce H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. The historic bipartisan bill ensures background check procedures are followed for all gun sales, including sales made by unlicensed dealers and is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
“It has been two years since we stood together in the House chamber and voted to pass this common-sense bill. I voted ‘Yes’ for my son, Jordan Davis, and for all the lives lost to gun violence,” said McBath. “I promised I would take that sense of protection, that love a mother has for her son, and use it for my community. That I would dedicate my life for families like mine in Marietta, Georgia, who are terrified that they will send their kids to school and never see them come home. Terrified that they will one day be me. Today, we once again take an historic step to protect our children, to protect our communities, and to save American lives.”
Rep. McBath is an original co-sponsor of H.R.8. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, she was instrumental in getting gun violence prevention legislation passed in her first few months in office and “has become the public face of the House Democrats' push for gun control legislation.”
“The last two years have been a turning point in our longstanding fight to help prevent gun violence and we take another leap forward in helping to save lives. Joined by Democrats and Republicans, we introduce the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 to help keep guns out of the hands of those who may be a danger to themselves or others,” said Chairman Thompson. “Time and time again, we have seen that the American people want universal background checks, in fact public polling shows that the majority of people, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, support this. We began our work to combat the scourge of gun violence eight years ago after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and will not stop until we deliver for the American people.”
“Every day, the epidemic of gun violence shatters lives in countless communities across the country,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “With Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson’s reintroduction of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, the Democratic House is continuing its urgent action to end the epidemic. Guided by the voices of millions of young people marching for their lives and aided by the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Democratic Congress will continue our work to ensure H.R. 8 and other life-saving gun violence prevention measures are finally enacted into law. Enough is enough.”
“Background checks are simple, easy, and they save lives. That's why more than 90 percent of Americans support our legislation to make sure no guns are sold in this country without a check,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who introduced the companion Senate bill. “Joe Biden and hundreds of congressional candidates from both parties ran on the issue background checks. This is the year to get this bill passed into law. And this legislation has the chance to bring this country together - even 85 percent of gun owners believe in expanding background checks, and a growing anti-gun violence movement, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, is demanding change. I look forward to working across the aisle to get background checks legislation across the finish line.”
“I am proud to support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to extend the firearms background check requirement so that we can help keep guns out of the hands of felons and others who are legally prohibited from possessing them. No longer should those who are prohibited from owning a gun use gaps in the law like the online sale loophole and the gun show loophole to obtain these weapons,” said Chairman Nadler. “This bipartisan bill has the overwhelming support of the American people and it is time that we enact these critical improvements to our law so that we save lives. I thank Rep. Thompson for his leadership in advancing this legislation and look forward to supporting its passage.”
“After every tragic shooting, we say, ‘Enough is enough.’ But nothing changes. It’s pass time for change. Sadly, while we cannot prevent every act of violence, certainly we can prevent many more. We owe it to our communities to try. The legislation we’re introducing today closes loopholes using technology that will make our southwest Michigan communities safer and still complies with the Second Amendment,” said Upton.
“I would like to thank Chairman Thompson for his persistent leadership in seeking to pass real gun safety legislation. As one of the Vice-Chairs of the Gun Task Force, I believe H.R. 8 will make a monumental difference in lowering the amount of gun violence in America and by providing a constitutionally protected approach to gun sales,” said Jackson Lee. “It is important to move this bill forward and to finally have a responsible manner for gun transfers in America. H.R. 8 will save lives!”
“Reasonable laws that protect Second Amendment rights while ensuring that felons, fugitives, domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals do not have access to guns help prevent violence and save lives,” said Smith. “This common-sense legislation would ensure that firearms are purchased, owned and used by responsible, law-abiding citizens by closing the ‘private sale loophole’ and listing all those prohibited from buying a firearm in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
"The quickest and simplest step we can take to curb gun violence across our country is through expanding background checks on all gun sales," said Kelly. "The American people are tired of watching our brothers, sisters, cousins, friends and even our small children be taken from us by gun violence at the hands of those who should have never had access to a gun in the first place. We know that expanding background checks will help lessen gun violence and save lives. I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure that this and other commonsense reforms to end gun violence advance through Congress."
“Background checks are a proven, effective measure in keeping our communities safe,” said Fitzpatrick. “This legislation protects the constitutional rights of law abiding Americans while seeking to prevent felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill from lawfully purchasing a firearm. Congress owes our nation’s families and children bipartisan gun safety reform, and the introduction of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 brings us closer towards fulfilling that obligation.”
In June 2019, McBath introduced the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order (FERPO) Act, H.R. 3076. Extreme risk, or “red flag” laws, empower loved ones and law enforcement to ensure that those who pose a danger to themselves or others do not have access to firearms. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have enacted extreme risk laws to allow law enforcement adequate time to respond to warning signs of a planned shooting or suicide. This common-sense gun violence prevention legislation is identical to S. 2521 – a bipartisan bill that was introduced in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during the 115th Congress.
McBath also succeeded in securing $25 million in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health for important firearm injury and mortality prevention research to study the gun violence epidemic and find solutions to help keep families safe. It is the first funding of its kind in over 20 years.