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National Gun Violence Awareness Week

Last week, I spoke on the floor to mark #NationalGunViolenceAwarenessWeek. Fifty-eight percent of American adults report that they or someone they care about have experienced gun violence in their lifetime. Nowhere and no one in our country is immune to this violence. Sadly, the district that I represent in Southwest Oregon has experienced two horrific school shootings.

I have supported multiple bipartisan, common-sense gun reform bills. The bills include:

  • Comprehensive background checks which would require that every person who wants to buy a firearm sale goes through a background check.
  • Enhanced background checks which reforms the "default proceed" procedure that allows a firearm sale to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, each year hundreds of thousands of guns are sold or transferred this way, without a background check. The white supremacist who murdered nine people in a South Carolina church in 2015 obtained a gun due to default proceed.
  • Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to close the loophole which allows domestic abusers and convicted stalkers to legally purchase guns. Although the current law still allows those convicted of domestic abuse from owning and purchasing a firearm, the law only extends to spouses and does not protect dating partners. Evidence shows that access to a gun makes women five times more likely to be shot and killed in a domestic violence case.

These bills that have passed the House are currently sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk awaiting a vote in the Senate. It's been nearly a year since these critical reforms passed the house and countless lives have been lost while nothing has been done to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country. I'm outraged and call on Mitch McConnell to take up these bills.

While I am proud that these common sense reforms have passed the House with my strong support, we need action in the Senate and more must be done to stop the bloodshed. The House is currently considering a number of bills, including legislation that would implement extreme risk protection orders at the federal level.

While the Democratic-controlled House will continue to pass common-sense legislation to address this serious issue, I will continue to push Senate Republican Leadership to finally act on meaningful, effective legislation to curb gun violence.


Posted on February 11, 2020.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter