H.R. 8: Preventing Gun Violence

The 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, ignited a public outcry at the prevalence of gun violence in the United States and the total lack of action from the Republican-led Congress.

Unfortunately, mass shootings are actually all too common in America and disproportionately impact people of color. But despite strong public support for policies that could help stem the tide of violence, Republicans in Congress refused to act. Or, if they did act, they worked to advance the gun lobby’s agenda, making the problem worse.

Now that Democrats have retaken control of the House, they have the opportunity to change course and do more than extend “thoughts and prayers.” On January 8, 2018, H.R. 8 was introduced, a bill to do just that. This legislation requires background checks on all gun sales, including private sales and online.

The bill’s introduction comes on the 8th anniversary of the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords at an event in Arizona. The Republican-led Congress did nothing to protect against gun violence in the eight years since that tragedy.

H.R. 8 represents a critical first step that would break the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress, save lives and reduce the number of guns that fall into the wrong hands.

Call your MoC and tell them: co-sponsor H.R. 8 to close background check loopholes, prevent gun violence and make our communities safer.

What would H.R. 8 do?

H.R. 8 would make our communities safer by closing loopholes that allow people to buy guns legally without a background check. Federal law does not currently require that gun purchases made from “unlicensed sellers” include a background check as part of the purchasing process—which means that millions of people in the United States continue to obtain weapons without going through a background check that would identify felony convictions, mental health risks, domestic abuse histories, and more.

Requiring background checks for all firearm purchases would save lives and keep guns out of the wrong hands. Research indicates that expanding background checks results in reduced gun homicide and suicide rates. While requiring a background check for every gun purchase would not end all gun violence, it could help to prevent mass shootings by ensuring that potentially dangerous people who could not pass a background check (like domestic abusers and convicted felons) are not able to buy a gun from an unlicensed seller.

Comprehensive background checks have broad support in Congress and across the country. Nonetheless, Republicans have refused to act as anything but a vehicle for the NRA’s agenda while in power. That stops now. It’s time for Congress to pass meaningful legislation to reduce gun violence—starting by passing H.R. 8 in the House.

Call your MoC and tell them: co-sponsor H.R. 8 to close background check loopholes, prevent gun violence and make our communities safer.

Note: There is also a background checks bill in the Senate. So, after you call your Representative, check to see if both of your senators have co-sponsored S. 42 and urge them to do so if not.

Call Now!

Call your Member of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor H.R. 8 to close background check loopholes, prevent gun violence and make our communities safer.


Sample Call Script

Hello, I’m a constituent calling from [CITY, STATE] urging Representative/Senator [NAME] to co-sponsor H.R. 8/S. 42 and finally begin to take meaningful action to reduce gun violence in America by implementing comprehensive background checks for gun purchases.

Despite the hundreds of mass shootings in our country every year, the Republican-led Congress refused to act on measures that would make us safer. Especially in the wake of tragedies like the mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Tree of Life Synagogue, along with the many we don’t hear about that disproportionately impact people of color, it’s clear that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough.

I’m glad that H.R. 8/S. 42 would begin to fix these problems. I support requiring background checks for all gun purchases, and I am not alone. Comprehensive background checks enjoy broad support in Congress, and overwhelming support from the public.

Will [Representative/Senator] co-sponsor H.R. 8/S. 42?

I will be watching for their co-sponsorship.