Tuesday, bipartisan members of Congress introduced historic legislation to update the background checks law to require background checks on all gun sales. The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate on the eight-year mark of the Tucson, Arizona, mass shooting, in which six people were shot and killed and 13 people shot and wounded, including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
H.R. 8 was introduced with ten original cosponsors, five Democrats and five Republicans:
- Mike Thompson, a Democrat who represents California’s 5th Congressional District
- Peter T. King, a Republican who represents New York’s 2nd Congressional District
- Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat who represents New York’s 10th Congressional District
- Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District
- Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat who represents Texas’ 18th Congressional District
- Brian Mast, a Republican who represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District
- Robin Kelly, a Democrat who represents Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District
- Fred Upton, a Republican who represents Michigan’s 6th Congressional District
- Lucy McBath, a Democrat who represents Georgia’s 6th Congressional District
- Christopher H. Smith, a Republican who represents New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District
The bipartisan support of this life-saving legislation reflects the mood of the country when it comes to gun safety and background checks specifically. Poll after poll demonstrates overwhelming support for closing the background check loophole. According to polling by Pew Research Center, 85 percent of Americans support background checks on gun sales, including 79 percent of Republicans.
Background checks save lives and are the foundation of any effective effort to reduce gun violence and are associated with lower rates of gun murders, suicides and gun trafficking in states that require them for all gun sales. If you’re interested in more information on H.R. 8, please don’t hesitate to reach out.