FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3 August 2023
Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)
WASHINGTON– Today, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) as he led 109 members and called on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to schedule votes on gun violence prevention bills as soon as possible. Although gun violence is the leading cause of death for American kids, the House of Representatives has yet to vote on even one gun violence prevention bill in this Congress.
“Our kids should not be scared go to school,” said Rep. Barragán. “Five years after one of the worst school shootings in American history at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, we have seen mass shootings continue to rise. Despite this, Speaker McCarthy has still not brought a single gun violence prevention bill to the floor. We call on the Speaker to help us save lives, reduce this horrific violence, and keep our kids safe.”
“American children should not be scared to go to school. Parents should not be scared that when they send their kids off in the morning that it may be the last time they see them alive,” said Thompson. “Gun violence demands our attention, yet the Republican House Leadership has not brought a single gun violence prevention bill up for a vote. The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force is calling on Speaker McCarthy to help us save lives and pass legislation that would keep our kids safe.”
Republicans canceled the last day of scheduled votes in July over disagreements within the Republican conference about how to proceed on a government funding bill. Should the vote schedule fall apart again, the letter calls on House Republican Leadership to use that time to vote on life-saving gun violence prevention legislation, instead of canceling votes altogether.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Speaker McCarthy,
We are disappointed that Republican leadership cancelled votes in July with so many pressing issues facing our country. Foremost amongst those is the gun violence crisis that is the leading cause of death for children in America.
As Members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we call on you to schedule votes on gun violence prevention legislation as soon as possible this year. We also have a new standing request that should the vote schedule fall apart again, you would fill that time to vote on life-saving gun violence prevention legislation, instead of canceling votes altogether.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death of children in America since 2020. Last year, 1,686 children were killed and another 4,485 were injured by gun violence. Despite this preventable carnage, the House has yet to vote on even one gun violence prevention bill.
To save the lives of our kids, we only need the opportunity to vote on gun violence prevention legislation and the support from a tiny minority of the Republican Conference. For example, if only 20 Republicans, 10 in the House and 10 in the Senate voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks bill, we would have the votes to help prevent felons, domestic abusers, terrorists and people with serious mental health conditions from accessing guns.
The American people strongly support action on the gun violence crisis and the gun violence prevention laws that will keep their kids alive. A recent Fox News poll shows that 87 percent support universal background checks; 80 percent support red flag laws and 61 percent support banning assault weapons.We reiterate our insistence that the House schedule votes on gun violence prevention legislation without further delay and also offer to quickly advance gun violence prevention legislation should other planned legislation be canceled again.