Washington – Today Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) wrote to the President asking that he call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote immediately on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. Both of these bipartisan bills were passed by the House and have been blocked for a vote by McConnell for 175 days. A copy of Thompson’s letter is below.
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
As you know, gun ownership has been part of our national fabric since our country was established. Our Constitution has correctly protected the right of law-abiding citizens to possess and own guns. As a life-long gun owner and a lawmaker, I will never support any proposal that would infringe on the rights of lawful gunowners.
Responsible gun owners, like myself, are heartbroken by the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Most gun owners follow the law and maintain the highest level of safety standards. More than anything, we do not want guns ending up in the hands of criminals or folks with severe mental illness. Even my most devout 2ndAmendment-supporting hunting buddies agree: something must be done to end the senseless deaths that are tearing apart our communities.
I agree with you that we “have tremendous support for really commonsense, sensible, important background checks.” You are absolutely correct. Polls show that support for background checks is incredibly high. A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 93 percent of Republicans support background checks for all gun buyers. Public Policy Polling found that 83 of NRA members support this policy.
The bedrock of our gun violence prevention efforts is background checks. They are proven to work. Every day, 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers are blocked from getting a gun at a licensed dealer. In many states, those same prohibited purchasers can go to a gun show or online and get a firearm. That’s not right.
While Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) are important, without a robust background check system, they are useless. Those same gun shows or internet sites could allow someone with an ERPO to still get a gun.
The House has passed a bipartisan background check bill that is commonsense and narrow. It requires a background check for every sale. Keeping our hunting and gun-owning tradition in mind, it allows for transfers within the family and for hunting purposes. This bill in no way infringes on the 2nd Amendment. If it did, it would not have my name on it.
I hope you will call upon Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, immediately. Republicans, NRA members, and a vast majority of the American people support this bill. The moment to act is now.