08.04.19

SCHUMER CALLS ON LEADER MCCONNELL TO BRING THE SENATE BACK FOR EMERGENCY SESSION TO TAKE ACTION ON BIPARTISAN HOUSE-PASSED GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION & ADDRESS VIOLENCE TORTURING EVERY CORNER OF COUNTRY; 250th & 251ST MASS SHOOTINGS OF THE YEAR DEMAND SENATE BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON LEGISLATION HOUSE PASSED IN FEBRUARY TO ENACT UNIVERSAL GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS

Citing El Paso, Dayton & The More Than 200 Other Mass Shootings This Year Alone That Have Left Thousands Dead, Schumer Says The Senate Must Finally Debate And Vote On Meaningful Gun Safety Legislation

An Estimated 14,000 People Have Died As A Result Of Gun Violence Since The House Passed H.R. 8 In February

Schumer To Leader McConnell: Enough Must Finally Be Enough; Stop Blocking Gun Safety Reforms 90% Of Americans Want  

Amid the horror of El Paso, Dayton, and countless other mass shootings this year alone, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer demands, tonight, that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring the Senate back from recess for an emergency session to take action on gun safety and address the violence that is plaguing the nation.

“America’s citizenry is on the brink, suffering in pain for people they love, communities they call home, and even strangers they have never met. And the mangled tie that binds this suffering, this fear, and this deep worry torturing every corner of the country now is rooted in the proliferation of semi-automatic assault weapons, their all too easy access, and the loopholes that ensure their omnipresence,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

“Tonight, to Leader McConnell, we say: enough must finally be enough. Stop blocking gun safety reforms that more than 90% of Americans have long sought passed. The Majority Leader should, once-and-for-all, do the right thing and gavel the Senate into an emergency session so we can take immediate action on the bipartisan, already-passed gun safety legislation the House sent to the Senate in February,” Schumer added. 

Schumer referenced how El Paso and Dayton mark the 250th and 251st mass shooting this year, respectively, and he said that every corner of the country is terrified to think about where the next shooting will take place, and the one after that, and so on. Schumer said that Leader McConnell must allow the Senate to vote on legislation --H.R. 8-- the House of Representatives already passed in February with strong bipartisan support. The legislation would enact universal background checks on all gun purchases, a direly-needed action necessary to address the scourge.

Schumer said that since the House’s passage in February, more than 14,000 people have died as a result of gun violence and he demanded that the Majority Leader stop blocking a vote on this bipartisan gun safety bill that the vast majority of American are demanding.

Federal law already requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on gun purchasers and transferees, but this legislation would address a common loophole by requiring unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks. While federal law prohibits certain people, including those with felony convictions, domestic abusers, and those adjudicated mentally unfit from obtaining or possessing firearms, major loopholes still allow people who should not possess a gun to legally acquire one. The current background check law is enforced mainly via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which licensed gun dealers are required to cross-check before selling or transferring a firearm. According to the Giffords organization, since the 1990s, NICS has stopped over three million gun sales or transfers from licensed dealers. And H.R. 8, which Schumer is urging Leader McConnell to bring to the floor, would require all firearm purchases to undergo the NICS background check.

Presently, loopholes in the background check law allow unlicensed sellers to sell guns at gun shows, online, and person-to-person without conducting any background check on the purchaser, which can have potentially dangerous consequences. According to the Giffords organization, up to 80% of firearms used for criminal purposes are obtained without a background check. Schumer points out that while this is not the only action Congress needs to take on guns and violence, passing H.R. 8 is a sensible first step Americans have long begged to achieve.

According to Quinnipiac, 97% of Americans, including 97% of gun owners and 97% of Republicans, support requiring a background check for every gun sale.

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