Gun Violence Prevention

March 8, 2021: Take Action on S. 529 and H.R. 8

Posted on March 08, 2021 at 12:00 AM


“The United States Senate brought dishonor upon our country yesterday. What should have been a clarifying moment to come out strong for a perfectly reasonable and bipartisan compromise to address the weaknesses in our current gun background checks, ended in failure, because enough Senators—including Democrats—chose their own political expediency over the country’s public health and safety concerns.” —WNDC Statement, April 18, 2013

We were still shaken and inconsolable the day following failure of the US Senate to defeat a Republican-led filibuster to enact legislation sponsored by Senators Manchin and Toomey to require background checks on all commercial gun sales. Shockingly, it was only 4 months following the December 14, 2012 massacre of 20 innocent children and 6 adult educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Tearfully, it was only 15 months since an assassin gunned down Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and slaughtered 6 other attendees at one of her many “Congress on the Corner” constituent events in Tucson.

Fast forward to February 2019: True to Speaker Pelosi’s promise—a year after 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida were massacred at the hands of another assailant—the House overwhelmingly passed HR 8, “The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.” Unconscionably and cruelly, then Senate Majority Leader McConnell refused to even bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a conversation.

Last week Congressman Mike Thompson reintroduced HR 8, requiring background checks on ALL gun sales, thus closing a dangerous loophole allowing unchecked sales via the internet and gun shows. Members of our Task Force to Prevent Gun Violence are proud to be part of the 97% of Americans who support universal background checks. All of us at WNDC worked hard to elect Democratic champions in the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate. Let us demand, then, that these elected officials succeed this time in passing and enacting HR 8 and its Senate counterpart, S 529, legislation representing a popular and necessary first step to end our nation’s needless gun violence epidemic.

This may be our last real chance! Let’s not blow it!

The House Rules Committee is expected to take up HR 8 on Monday, March 8, with further appropriate committee and floor action soon thereafter. We are grateful to the current House Members who are cosponsoring HR 8, as well as the Senators cosponsoring S 529, introduced last week by Sen. Chris Murphy. Click to see IF your House or Senators’ names appear. If yes, let them know you appreciate their support. If you don’t see their names, you know what to do. Call 202-224-3121 to “make some good trouble.” 

—Shelly Livingston, Member and Past Chair, WNDC Task Force to Prevent Gun Violence

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