This Historic Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Now Heads to the Senate
Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06), a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, helped lead the passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 240 - 190. McBath is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 8 – a historic gun violence prevention bill that was introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) and was co-sponsored by more than two hundred and thirty of their colleagues. The passage of H.R. 8 marks the first time Congress has passed a bill to ensure that all firearm sales would be subject to background checks.
“Today marks a pivotal moment in the fight to reduce gun violence and to help ensure that firearms are not falling into the wrong hands. The overwhelming bipartisan public support for universal background checks reflects the power of advocacy, and the incredible persistence of the survivors, family members, and students who have shared their stories as they call for common-sense gun safety solutions and demand that we act to address gun violence,” McBath said. “Congress has taken a historic step towards ending unnecessary gun violence. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them.”
Rep. McBath is an original co-sponsor H.R. 8 and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where it was agreed to after many hours of debate in the markup process. This historic bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), ensures background check procedures are followed for all gun sales, including sales made by unlicensed dealers. Other original co-sponsors of the bill represent both parties, including Reps. Peter T. King (NY-02), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Brian Mast (FL-18), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Fred Upton (MI-06), and Christopher Smith (NJ-04). The Senate version of the bill currently has 41 Democratic co-sponsors.
Another background check bill will be considered on the House Floor tomorrow – H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 bill would help to address and close the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows a firearm sale to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.
This month, Rep. McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, would have turned 24. Jordan was 17 years old when he was shot and killed by a man who opened fire on a car of unarmed teenage boys at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2012.
Watch McBath’s remarks during floor debate in support of H.R. 8 here and read the text below:
Thank you Chairman Nadler and Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Today marks a pivotal moment in our fight to prevent gun violence and to ensure the safety of every community across our nation.
Thank you to the more than 230 of our colleagues who have cosponsored H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Thank you to Chairman Nadler, Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Thompson, and Congressman King. Thank you so much for making gun violence prevention a priority this Congress. I am so proud to be an original co-sponsor of this historic legislation.
As many of you may know, gun violence is an issue that is deeply personal for me. Gun violence prevention and a desire to make meaningful change is the very reason I am here today, in this legislative body, speaking to every one of you.
In 2012, my son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by a man who opened fire on a car of unarmed teenagers at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. And my son was only 17 years of age. Jordan would have turned 24 this month.
After my son’s death, I dedicated my entire life to advocating for common-sense gun safety solutions, but it was the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year that finally motivated me to join this legislative body.
The overwhelming bipartisan support for universal background checks symbolizes the power of advocacy, and the incredible power of the survivors, family members, and students who have shared their stories as they advocate for common-sense gun safety solutions and demand that we act to address gun violence.
Today, we are truly taking this action.
H.R. 8 will ensure mothers and fathers have one less reason to worry. It will give students one less thing to fear when they walk into a school. Most importantly, it will make our communities and our nation a safer place to live. And every human being in America deserves that.
I urge my colleagues to vote YES on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. It is time.
And I yield back my time.