FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2019
202-408-0061 x 1017
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Statement on Passage of H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:
Washington, DC (February 28, 2019) — “The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) recognizes the historic importance of the passage of H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112. We believe that the core of these bills — the parts which seek to improve the background check system — are an important step forward for the gun violence prevention movement, and we thank Democratic leadership for making these bills a priority. However, we are disappointed by the discriminatory language added to both H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 through amendments originating with Republican House members. These amendments detract from the original intent of both H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 and, unfortunately, they were supported by enough Democrats to make it into the bills.
“In H.R. 8, the involvement of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a blatant attempt to target individuals based on race and immigration status. In H.R. 1112, stigmatizing language about individuals with mental illness reinforces the damaging myth that mental illness is a significant risk factor for interpersonal violence.
“CSGV is committed to inclusivity as we pursue an intersectional approach to preventing gun violence in all its forms. This means speaking out when historically underrepresented populations are unfairly targeted and used as political pawns. H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 should have focused solely on preventing gun violence and saving lives. Instead, these bills have been filled with distractions. For eight years, Republicans only brought thoughts and prayers to the floor to address American gun violence. Now they are trying to muddy and taint life-saving legislation with racist, xenophobic, and stigmatizing language. Democrats need to remain united in making gun violence prevention a priority and squashing this bad behavior. It is an insult to the families and survivors of gun violence to do anything less.
“We are pleased to see gun violence prevention emerge as a top priority for Democrats. As H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 move to the Senate, CSGV will fight alongside gun violence prevention champions to remove the damaging and discriminatory parts of these bills. These bills — and all future gun bills — should focus on putting an end to the scourge of gun violence. The American people deserve solutions — not political distractions.”