08.06.19

SCHUMER, KING RALLY FOR SENATE VOTE TO PASS BIPARTISAN HOUSE-PASSED GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION; BILL KING LED IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSED IN FEBRUARY & WOULD ENACT UNIVERSAL GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS, BUT REMAINS BLOCKED IN SENATE BY MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, DESPITE VAST PUBLIC SUPPORT

Schumer & King Cite Strong Bipartisan Support For Universal Gun Background Check Bill That Could Pass The Senate If Leader McConnell Would Allow For A Vote

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

Schumer, King: There’s A Bipartisan Solution The Senate Could Pass To Address Gun Violence, And Then Send To POTUS, But It Requires A Vote      

Citing support from 97% of the public for Universal Gun Background Check legislation, as well as a dire need, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and New York Congressman Peter King made a bipartisan push to galvanize a Senate vote to pass House bill, H.R 8, which Congressman King helped lead through bipartisan passage in the House months ago. More than 150 days later, it remains individually blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Schumer and King agree that Leader McConnell should immediately allow the Senate to vote on the legislation that would enact universal background checks on all gun purchases, an urgently-needed action necessary to address the scourge of gun violence plaguing America. The Senator and the Congressman made the case for this vote to occur at a local Walmart, citing how these kinds of mass shootings can happen anywhere, and urging Leader McConnell to allow for debate and a vote.

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: 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.

“There is no single law that can put an end to mass shootings or gun violence, but there are certainly proactive steps we can take to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. When background checks are used, they keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree shouldn’t have guns,” said Rep. Pete King. “As government officials it is our responsibility to protect our citizens, and when it comes to gun violence we must do more. The overwhelming majority of Americans want to see action, and we owe it to the victims and their families to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.”

“Leader McConnell 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 that Congressman King and other members of the House sent to the Senate in February—think about that, in February,” Schumer added. 

Schumer again 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 and King noted 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 Americans 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. 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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