HRC: Senate Must Advance Bipartisan Common Sense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

by HRC staff

Post submitted by Viet Tran (he/him/they/them), former HRC Press Secretary

HRC praised the bipartisan House passage of H.R. 8 (Bipartisan Background Checks Act) by a vote of 227-203 and H.R. 1446 (Enhanced Background Checks Act) by a vote of 219-210, and urged the Senate to act expeditiously on these critical measures.

We have waited too long for Congress to take meaningful action to end gun violence. There is bipartisan support for meaningful steps to stop these preventable tragedies, including an assurance that no person in this country can purchase a firearm without clearing a background check. Following each mass shooting that has devastated families and communities -- whether at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, or countless other places -- Americans have called for action. LGBTQ people face increased threat of gun violence and that is one reason why the Human Rights Campaign urges the Senate to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and Enhanced Background Checks Act and stop preventable tragedies now. Enough is enough.

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8), sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), would save lives and protect our communities from gun violence by requiring a background check on all gun sales—not just in brick-and-mortar stores, but rather in all places guns are sold today. The Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 1446), sponsored by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), would address the NRA-backed Charleston loophole and prevent licensed firearm dealers from transferring guns to a buyer after three business days, even if the buyer’s criminal background check has not been completed.

In 2016, after a gunman killed 49 people - most of them LGBTQ and Latinx - in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub, HRC’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution that addresses both the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault and discrimination as well as commonsense gun violence prevention policies that would help keep the LGBTQ community safe. Gun violence has led to the death of at least 44 transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020, the majority of them Black transgender women.

HRC backs commonsense gun violence prevention policy measures and policies aimed at addressing the epidemic of hate that has fueled anti-LGBTQ-motivated murder, assault, and discrimination. For decades, LGBTQ people have been a target for bias-motivated violence, and easy access to deadly weapons has compounded that threat. Commonsense gun violence prevention measures endorsed by HRC include banning access to assault-style rifles, expanding background checks and limiting the ability for suspected terrorists and those with a history of domestic abuse to access guns.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, more than 36,000 gun deaths happen every year.

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