HR 8: Historic Universal Background Checks Bill Passes the House

February 27, 2019

Andrew Patrick
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Historic Universal Background Checks Bill Passes the House

New Democratic Congress keeps campaign promise to act on gun violence epidemic

Washington, DC (February 27, 2019) — Today, our legislators finally took concrete action to address America’s gun violence epidemic. Eight years following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, six years following the massacre of first graders in Newtown, just over a year after the deadliest high school mass shooting in Parkland, and after countless acts of day-to-day gun violence that rarely make headlines, the House of Representatives did more than just pause for a moment of silence. H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed with a bipartisan vote of 240-190.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:

“It is a historic day for gun violence prevention. For years, we’ve seen inaction from elected officials as Americans have died from our gun violence epidemic. Thanks to a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives — emboldened by a freshman class that ran loudly and aggressively on this issue — we are finally seeing progress in Congress.

“Stopping gun violence requires a myriad of solutions. There is not one bill or law that will magically save every life. But in order for policies to be successful, we must have universal background checks. Background checks are the foundation upon which other policies must build. With today’s vote, that foundation has been established.

“Throughout this debate, the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s diminished influence has become apparent. As the bipartisan passage of H.R. 8 indicates, the power has shifted. The NRA no longer has a stranglehold on American politics; more legislators are standing up to the NRA and siding with the American people instead.

“As H.R. 8 moves to the United States Senate, we urge Majority Leader McConnell to bring background checks up for a vote. The American people went to the ballot box in 2018 to vote for stronger gun laws in America, and they will do so again in 2020. The House delivered on their promise. It is time for their colleagues in the Senate to do the same.


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