Washington, DC—Today, House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Vice Chair Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-07), House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04), House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-05), Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (SC-06), and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (CA-11) announced a legislative strategy on gun violence prevention. Reps. McBath, Thompson, and Clyburn filed discharge petitions for their bills: the Assault Weapons Ban, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. Joining the event to speak were Reps. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), and Pat Ryan (NY-18).
“Today marks a new step in our journey to ending gun violence in America. My colleagues and I have just filed discharge petitions to force Republican leadership to bring common-sense gun safety legislation to the floor,” said Rep. McBath. “After the conviction of my son’s killer, I made a promise to Jordan on the steps of the Courthouse to take all the love I have as a mother and spend the rest of my life devoted to making sure parents across the country never had to go through the same pain that I did. It is these policies that will fulfill our promise.”
“Over the last several months, members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force have been personally appealing to House Republicans to find any common ground for bipartisan action on gun violence prevention,” said Chairman Thompson. “While the American people are calling for progress, it remains clear that House Republican Leadership refuses to take this issue seriously. The American people deserve more from their elected representatives, and House Democrats are launching three discharge petitions on gun violence prevention legislation that would help save lives and keep our children safe, including my Bipartisan Background Checks Act. Action on gun violence prevention is long overdue — the only question is will Republicans join us in bringing these bills up for a vote.”
“As a nation, we should not be in a situation where our children are afraid to go to school or where people have to live in fear when they go to a mall, a concert or a place of worship. House Democrats are determined to address this crisis and I'm grateful to the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force for leading the charge and launching these three discharge petitions. While extreme MAGA Republicans are willing to flood our streets with weapons of war, House Democrats are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect our communities and end the scourge of gun violence once and for all,” said House Democratic Leader Jeffries.
“This Saturday, June 17, marks eight years since nine parishioners lost their lives and three others were victimized at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In the years since, my bill to close the deadly loophole that allowed the shooter to obtain his gun has passed the House twice under Democratic majorities, but Republican opposition has prevented it from being enacted into law,” said Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn. “We need action to end this gun violence epidemic. That starts with signing these discharge petitions to enact common-sense gun violence prevention legislation and protect our communities.”
A livestream of the press conference announcing the strategy can be viewed here. Under House parliamentary rules, once a petition has garnered 218 signatures, a motion to discharge can then be offered on the Floor and the measure can be put to a vote.