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Everytown Responds to President Biden’s Call for the Senate to Pass Gun Safety Legislation during Tonight’s Joint Address

April 28, 2021

Earlier this Month, President Biden Nominated a Highly Qualified ATF Director and Announced Life-Saving Executive Actions to Stop the Proliferation of Ghost Guns, Address City Gun Violence and Gun Trafficking, and More

The Senate Must Now Pass Life-Saving Background Check Legislation 

WASHINGTON –– Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements after President Joe Biden talked about the need to address gun violence during his speech before Congress. Specifically, he mentioned the key executive actions that his administration announced last month, and called for the Senate to pass critical gun safety bills –– including lifesaving background check legislation.

“President Biden entered the Oval Office with the strongest gun safety resume of any President in history, and between tonight’s remarks and his recent executive actions, he is building on that legacy by addressing  gun violence head on,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The President has no bigger platform than a joint address to Congress, and it’s telling that President Biden used this speech to urge the Senate to put public safety first and pass background check legislation immediately.”

“After four years of speeches from a president who actively blocked gun safety legislation, while hundreds of thousands of Americans were killed or wounded by gun violence on his watch, tonight we got to hear from a president who treats gun violence like the epidemic that it is,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “President Biden is right in demanding action now, and our grassroots army of six million strong stands behind him as he urges the Senate to pass life-saving background check legislation into law.”

This is the strongest gun safety administration in history, as evidenced by President Biden’s historic executive actions to address gun violence, his long record of taking on the NRA and passing life-saving laws, Vice President Kamala Harris’ years of gun safety advocacy, and the unmatched gun sense cabinet they have built in recent months.

As President Biden said, now is the time to pass background check legislation. Ninety-three percent of Americans, including 89% of Republicans and gun owners support background checks, and there’s a good reason why: background checks save lives. States that require background checks for all gun sales are associated with 10 percent lower homicide rates, as well as lower rates of firearm suicide and gun trafficking. But because of the loopholes in the system, each year, 1.2 million online ads on a single website offer firearms for sale that would not legally require a background check to be completed –– a market that barely even existed when background checks first became law in 1993. And nearly 1 in 9 prospective gun buyers who respond to these online ads would not pass a background check. Federal inaction on gun violence has led to more than 100 Americans being killed every day, and hundreds more wounded, costing U.S. taxpayers an average of $35 million each day. We need to update our laws to fit the times and save lives. That means passing background check legislation, and doing it now. 

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