Prevent Gun Violence
As a survivor of gun violence, I feel a solemn responsibility to pass commonsense legislation to stem the frequent bloodshed in our nation. Each year, more than 30,000 people are killed with a firearm in the United States. There are clear first steps that we can take to prevent this violence: close loopholes in our background check system, prevent weapons of war from making their way into our streets, and lift the ban on gun violence research.
Today, about 40 percent of gun purchases are made without a background check. That’s because of clear loopholes in our laws that create a separate market for criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. If we had an airport where 40 percent of passengers could simply choose to skip the security line, would you fly? I’ve introduced legislation to ensure all gun purchases require a background check, closing the loopholes that allow purchases made over the internet, at a gun show, and person to person do not require a background check. I support legislation to close the so-called “Charleston loophole” that sets a default approval of a gun purchase three days after the background check starts. Finally, I support closing the loophole that allows known and suspected terrorists to legally purchase guns. No one who is prevented from flying should be allowed to purchase a firearm.
Next, we must work to prevent weapons of war from making their way into the streets. Unfortunately, the federal assault weapons ban sunset in 2004, and since then, we have seen deadly weapons of war such as assault rifles and assault shotguns used in a variety of mass shootings. I fully support a new federal assault weapons ban, and in fact, as a state legislator, I carried the California assault weapons ban in the Assembly, pushing the bill through passage into law. In addition to banning these dangerous weapons, we must ban the large capacity magazines that make mass shootings so deadly.
Finally, we must ensure that our brightest minds are able to study the most effective methods to prevent gun violence, ranging from gun safes to public policy. The gun lobby has banned the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting research on gun violence, effectively freezing federal research on methods to prevent this large-scale bloodshed. I have supported lifting this ban each year, and will continue to push for the repeal of this dangerous provision.