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SUBJECT: In the Aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton Mass Shootings, Republicans are Calling for Congressional Action on Gun Safety

August 6, 2019

Following the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, in which 22 people were shot and killed and 24 were wounded, and Dayton, Ohio, in which at least nine people were shot and killed and 14 people were shot and wounded, and after a weekend in which at least 7 people were killed and dozens were wounded across Chicago and six people were shot and killed and five people were wounded over a 12-hour period in Houston, several Republican Members of Congress are starting to say enough is enough, while calling on their colleagues to pass common-sense gun safety legislation. 

In February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. To date, the majority in the U.S. Senate has refused to hold a vote on that legislation. Red Flag bills have been introduced by bipartisan members of Congress in both the U.S. House and Senate, and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing finding bipartisan support for Red Flag laws in March. Moms Demand Action volunteers, with Students Demand Action volunteers and Everytown Survivor Network, will put pressure on Senate leadership and demand they schedule a vote on background checks on all gun sales and a Red Flag law now.

In addition to the recent comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, below is just a sampling of the growing list of Republicans who have spoken out in support of Congressional action on common-sense gun safety legislation, such as background checks legislation and Red Flag legislation, which allow families and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to guns if there is evidence that a person poses a serious threat to themselves or others:

  • Senator Pat Toomey (PA) stated his support for background checks legislation and Red Flag laws”While no law will end mass shootings entirely, it’s time for Congress to act to help keep our communities safer. We should start by passing bipartisan proposals such as my legislation with Senator Joe Manchin to expand background checks to all commercial firearm sales. I also agree with Senator Lindsey Graham that we should pass a bipartisan ‘red flag’ measure that enables families and law enforcement to obtain a court order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.”

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