Preventing gun violence is a deeply personal issue for me; my older sister took her life with a gun when we were growing up together in Arizona. Too many families have felt the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence, and I will not stop fighting to pass gun safety measures while serving in Congress.
Often times, perpetrators of mass shootings have a history of violence and erratic behavior as was the case with the deadly shooting in our own Central Coast community of Isla Vista. That is why I am proud that my bill, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, was signed into law as part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (the first federal gun safety law in 30 years) to help give law enforcement and families a tool to prevent gun violence through a court order before it happens.
This bill would incentivize states to pass laws as we have in California, that enable family members or law enforcement officials to petition a judge for a ‘gun violence prevention order,’ to temporarily stop someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun.
However, more must be done.
Congress must also pass universal background checks, a policy supported by nearly 90 percent of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners. We must also reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban, which Congress shamefully allowed to expire in 2004. As an original cosponsor of the Assault Weapon Ban Act of 2021, I was proud to join a majority of my colleagues to pass this bill. However, the Senate must also pass this legislation before the President can sign it into law.
There is no single solution to end the gun violence epidemic in America, but that is no reason not to try and prevent some of these horrific attacks with common-sense reforms. We must protect our communities from this senseless violence while respecting the protection offered by the 2nd Amendment.
For more information concerning work and views related to protecting our communities from gun violence, please contact our office.