US Sen. Warren, Rep. Johnson Unveil Legislation to Target Gun Violence
Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson introduced the House version of the Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act, a bill that works to end gun violence in America. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the Senate version of the bill.
The Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act would help would:
- Create a federal gun licensing system and require a federal or state-issued firearms license to purchase or own a gun and establish a grant program to help states set up their own systems.
- Require universal background checks, close legal loopholes that allow individuals to skirt background check requirements and require background check denials to be reported to law enforcement.
- Ban individuals who present safety risks from buying guns, establishing Extreme Risk Protection Order systems, and cracking down on gun theft.
- Raise the minimum age for all gun or ammunition purchases to 21, establishing a 7-day waiting period for the purchase of all guns, strengthening gun storage laws, and banning guns on all school campuses.
- Ban military-style assault weapons, lethal gun accessories, and untraceable and undetectable firearms.
- Ban bulk gun purchases and establishing a new law to specifically ban gun trafficking.
- Strengthen ATF’s authority to inspect gun shops, enhancing record-keeping requirements for gun dealers, and repealing harmful appropriations riders that limit law enforcement’s ability to trace guns that are used in crimes and hold gun dealers accountable when they break the law.
- Clarify that gun manufacturers can be held liable for civil penalties for the harms their guns cause, authorizing the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to address safety defects in firearms and firearm accessories, and raising the excise tax on gun sales to 30 percent and ammunition sales to 50 percent.
- Invest in research and community-based gun violence prevention by providing $100 million in annual funding for federal research into gun violence and creating a new grant program to provide $100 million per year for gun violence intervention programs.
“The Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act will save lives and make our country safer – without infringing on any law-abiding individual’s right to own firearms. This comprehensive bill is a compilation of the best ideas to create a workable set of laws that will strengthen life-saving background checks, protect communities with bolstered enforcement, improve mental health services and fuel research to make guns safer. It is time for Congress come together and end the epidemic of gun violence in this country once and for all,” says Johnson.
"Every day — in their homes and on their sidewalks, in their schools and supermarkets, in their places of worship and workplaces — Americans are killed or injured by gun violence," says a release. In 2017, gun violence claimed the lives of 39,773 people in the U.S.—the highest number of gun-related deaths since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking the data in 1968, adds the release.
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence found that 100 people are killed with guns in the U.S. every single day, 4 of which are children or teens. "This is a distinctly American crisis, with the U.S. having nearly half of the estimated 857 million civilian-owned guns in the world, and a gun homicide rate that is 25 times higher and a gun suicide rate that is 10 times higher than that of other comparable countries," says the release.