7 Gun Violence Prevention Bills in Congress Now
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While Congress has yet to schedule a vote on legislation aimed at preventing gun violence in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Capitol Hill is awash in legislative proposals. There are sure to be more bills introduced in the days and weeks ahead, but here’s a look at seven proposals that have already been introduced.
S. 2135 - Fix NICS Act: This bill, introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), would seek to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by ensuring federal and state authorities comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to the NICS. It has the support of 49 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, including 25 Democrats and 24 Republicans.
H.R. 3999 - Banning Bump Stocks: Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced this bill to ban "bump stocks" and similar devices which are designed to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon to that of an automatic weapon without actually converting it into a machinegun. It has the bipartisan support of 32 cosponsors in the House, including 16 Democrats and 14 Republicans.
H.R. 4240 - Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017: Offered by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY), this bill would expand the background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales — including at gun shows or online — while incentivizing states to improve their reporting of criminal records to the NICS system. It has the support of 197 cosponsors in the House, including 186 Democrats and 11 Republicans.
H.R. 5090 - Raise the Age Act: This bill offered by Reps. Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle that has a magazine with a capacity of more than five rounds from 18 to 21 years of age. It has the support of 22 cosponsors in the House, including 20 Democrats and two Republicans.
H.R. 5087 - Assault Weapons Ban of 2018: Introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-CT), this bill would ban all semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a magazine that’s either detachable or can carry more than 10 rounds, which would cover the popular AK and AR style rifles. All of its 167 cosponsors are Democrats.
H.R. 2513 - Police Officers Protecting Children Act: Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s (R-MO) bill would allow qualified off-duty or retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in school zones if local school districts allow it. It has the support of 6 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.
S. 834 - Authorizing the CDC to Research Gun Violence: Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) bill would repeal the Dickey Amendment, which has been interpreted as prohibiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from researching the causes of gun violence. It would also authorize $10 million in annual funding to that end. It has the support of 32 cosponsors in the Senate, all Democrats.
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— Eric Revell
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