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Everytown Condemns Sen. McConnell and Gun Lobby Allies in the Senate for One Year of Inaction on H.R. 8

February 27, 2020

Today is the One Year Anniversary of the U.S. House Passing H.R. 8––A Bill to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales––with Bipartisan Support In Congress and Overwhelming Support from the American People.

Since then, an Estimated 38,000+ Americans Have Been Killed by Guns. But Mitch McConnell has Failed to Even Bring it to the Senate Floor for a Vote. 

WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, released the following statements blasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his senate colleagues for one year of inaction on H.R. 8––a bipartisan and immensely popular bill to require background checks on all gun sales. One year ago today, the U.S. House passed H.R. 8, making it the first major gun safety legislation to pass either chamber of Congress in two decades. 

“Since the House passed H.R. 8, we have had 365 days of daily gun violence, gun suicides, unintentional gun violence, and tragic mass shootings––and complete indifference from the Senate,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “In that time, an estimated 38,000+ Americans have been killed by gun violence, and twice that many have been wounded––a body count that lies at the feet of Sen. McConnell and his colleagues for their inaction. Their failure to keep us safe is unforgivable, and we will hold them accountable.”

“Ten years ago this week, our daughter Darien died from complications caused by her injuries when she was shot in her sleep during a home invasion,” said Judi and Wayne Richardson, volunteers with Everytown and survivors of gun violence whose 25-year-old daughter, Darien, was shot several times during a home invasion on January 8, 2010. She spent 21 days in the hospital and died on February 28 from complications caused by her injuries. The gun that killed Darien was sold at a gun show without a background check. The crime is still unsolved. “We will never forgive nor forget this failure by Senator McConnell and his colleagues to close the very loophole that ended our daughter’s life.”

This afternoon, Judi and Wayne Richardson, survivors of gun violence and volunteers with Everytown, spoke at the U.S. Capitol during a press conference about the anniversary with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and other members of Congress. The event took place just one day after five people were killed in a mass shooting at the Molson Coors complex in Milwaukee.

This week, Everytown is also running a $300k ad spend and nationwide grassroots campaign to hold senators accountable for one year of inaction on H.R. 8 and demand that they pass lifesaving background check legislation. The print and digital ads are targeting key lawmakers who have failed to support H.R. 8, including U.S. senators and representatives from AZ, CO, GA, IA, KY, NC, PA, and TX. The campaign also features grassroots events in several of those states and voter registration drives led by Students Demand Action across the country. 

H.R. 8 is designed to close loopholes in our background check system that enable individuals like domestic abusers and convicted felons to buy guns with no background check and no questions asked. An Everytown investigation found that in 2018 alone, there were nearly 1.2 million ads for firearm sales that would not require a background check. And in 2019, the shooter in the West Texas mass shooting exploited these very loopholes to buy the gun he used to kill 7 and wound 22 more. In total, an estimated 38,000+ Americans have been killed by gun violence and twice that many have been wounded while H.R. 8 has sat on Sen. McConnell’s desk. 

Background checks on all gun sales are proven to save lives and associated with decreased rates of homicide, suicide, and gun trafficking. They are also immensely popular, supported by 93% of voters, 89% of Republicans, and 87% of gun owners. 

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