HRC Applauds House Judiciary Advancing Gun Violence Prevention Measures

HRC applauded the House Judiciary Committee for advancing three commonsense gun reform bills aimed at preventing the epidemic of mass gun violence in the United States.

“It is imperative that Congress and the White House finally take action to prevent this senseless, ongoing epidemic of gun violence,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The vast majority of the American people support meaningful steps to stop these preventable tragedies, including an assurance that no person in this country can purchase a firearm without clearing a background check. The House and Senate must work together to pass these commonsense bills, and Donald Trump must sign them into law. If they fail to do so, we must elect leaders who will get the job done and protect our communities from violence.”

The bills advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee for consideration by the full House are:

H.R.1186 — The Keep Americans Safe Act would ban high capacity ammunition magazines, which enable assault weapons to be particularly lethal.

H.R.1236 — The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019 would provide incentives for states to adopt laws in order to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms.

H.R. 2708 — The Disarm Hate Act would  prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from obtaining firearms.

HRC has also given strong public support for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which passed the U.S. House with a bipartisan majority in February but remains languishing in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring it to the floor for a vote. A poll released this week found that 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks, including on private and gun show sales.

In 2016, after a gunman killed 49 people – most of them LGBTQ and Latinx – in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, HRC’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution that addresses both the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination as well as commonsense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe. Gun violence has led to the murder of at least 18 trans people in 2019, the majority of them Black women.

HRC backs commonsense gun violence prevention policy measures and policies aimed at addressing the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault, and discrimination. For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence, and easy access to deadly weapons has compounded this threat. Commonsense gun violence prevention measures endorsed by HRC include banning access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, more than 36,000 gun deaths happen every year.

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