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Gun Control Prevention Measures in Congress After Uvalde, Buffalo

After a shooter armed with an AR-15 murdered 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, less than two weeks after another gunman, also armed with an AR-15, targeted a grocery store in a predominantly Black Buffalo neighborhood, Congress is once again talking about gun violence prevention legislation. Below is everything you need to know about the measures being discussed in the House and Senate, as well as what you need to do next to take action.

Gun Violence Prevention in the Senate

In the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is leading a bipartisan group to negotiate a deal on gun safety measures. The current discussion includes a program that “incentivizes” states to adopt red flag laws and potentially expanding background checks. Red flag laws temporarily remove guns from people who pose a danger to themselves or others. While universal background checks are a key (and extremely popular!) demand, voluntary red flag laws are unlikely to create meaningful change in most states .

Leader Schumer and Sen. Murphy have been clear throughout the negotiations that if the bipartisan group can’t deliver a deal that can get 60 by end of recess, Schumer will force gun safety accountability votes.

Prior to leaving for recess Leader Schumer teed up two background check related bills (Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 and Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021). Should negotiations fail it is expected he will bring these up for a vote. Alternatively it is possible that he could force votes on one of the bills coming out of the House (see below for more on these)!

Gun Violence Prevention in the House

The House is working on a more comprehensive package--8 bills in total that are packaged together into the "Protecting our Kids" Act. The House Judiciary Committee will have an emergency session to mark up these bills on Thursday, June 2nd. 

We don’t know if the House will vote on the package of 8 bills together or vote on them separately. We do know that Democratic leadership is whipping votes to make sure they can pass these reforms. 

What are the 8 Bills that Make up the Protecting Our Kids Act?

The Raise the Age Act (H.R. 3015, Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland) -- This bill would raise the purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21

Prevent Gun Trafficking Act (H.R. 2280, Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois) -- This bill beefs up federal criminal penalties for gun trafficking and “straw purchases”

The Untraceable Firearms Act (H.R. 3088, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island) -- This bill amends the definition of “ghost guns” to require background checks on all sales

Ethan’s Law (H.R. 748, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut) -- This bill establishes new requirements for storing guns at home – especially with minors present.

The Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act (H.R. 6370, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan) -- This bill establishes requirements to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises.

The Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act (H.R. 130, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas) -- This bill establishes a framework to regulate the storage of firearms and ammunition on residential premises.

Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act (H.R. 5427, Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada) -- This bill requires existing bump stocks be registered under the National Firearms Act and bars the manufacture, sale, or possession of new bump stocks for civilian use.

The Keep Americans Safe Act (H.R. 2510, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida) -- This bill bans the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, although existing magazines are “grandfathered” in.

Take Action Now

Over the next few weeks, it's critical to call and to show up to demand reforms and hold Republican members of Congress accountable in the wake of another mass shooting.