Congresswoman Kelly Renews Push for Common Sense Gun Safety Laws
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Robin Kelly re-introduced four gun safety bills aimed at significantly reducing gun violence in our schools, homes and city streets.
If enacted, these bills will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals including stalkers, reduce accidental death and injury by issuing basic firearm safety standards, and require a Surgeon General report on the impact of gun violence on the public’s health.
Introduced by Rep. Kelly, The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act (H.R. 5161) would require the Surgeon General to submit an annual report to Congress on the effects of gun violence on the public’s health. The Dickey Amendment, which the Congresswoman seeks to clarify with H.R. 4573, currently prohibits the Center for Disease Control from researching gun violence and its impact on public health. The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act would bypass the disastrous Dickey amendment by authorizing the Surgeon General to issue the report, instead of the CDC.
“Whether it’s data on the deaths, disabilities, trauma or economic hardships stemming from gun violence, the public and our policymakers need a comprehensive understanding of these impacts in order to make informed decisions and improve public safety,” Congresswoman Kelly said.
“When families are afraid that their children might be shot sitting in their classroom or walking down their street, there can be no question that we face a public health emergency,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. “We cannot meaningfully address this epidemic if Congress won’t even allow lifesaving studies to take place. The Recognizing Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency Act helps us break through the gun lobby’s grip on Congress and allows sound research and data to guide us to commonsense reforms to keep our families safe.”
The Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act (H.R. 5163) would prohibit firearm ownership for dangerous individuals, including stalkers and those guilty of violent crimes.
“All too often, domestic abusers and stalkers have easy access to guns allowing for the abuse to escalate to deadly levels. Reducing domestic violence and reducing gun violence go hand in hand. This common sense bill would protect countless victims from violent patterns that always escalate and far too often culminate in more tragic gun deaths,” Congresswoman Kelly said.
“Keeping guns out of the hands of those guilty of violent crimes is a no brainer that is one of many common sense bipartisan reforms we can make,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Our legislation closes the gaps in existing laws, helping to keep firearms from those convicted of violent offenses, stalking, or with a pattern of violent criminal activity. This is a positive step that could help better protect our families and communities in Hawaiʻi and across the country.”
Introduced by Rep. Kelly, the Firearms Safety Act (H.R. 5162) would permit the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue consumer safety rules for firearms and ammunition, in the same manner as other consumer products such as fireworks, bicycles, car safety seats and cribs. Firearms are currently specifically excluded from the statutory definition of “consumer product.”
“Improved regulation of the design of guns and ammunition can reduce gun-related deaths and prevent serious injuries. Evidence shows that even simple reforms translate into fewer lives lost and safer communities. Progress on gun safety is possible when our policies put people before the NRA’s agenda. No other product enjoys this statutory exclusion; it’s time to take the gun lobby’s politics out of consumer safety,” Rep. Kelly said.
"It is embarrassing that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has the authority to issue consumer safety rules for bicycles but not for firearms. I know assault rifles--I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America’s streets or in our schools,” said Congressman Seth Moulton. “Change is happening because young people are speaking out – their actions today will change the world tomorrow. The least leaders in Washington can do is learn from them the courage to act. Passing this bill is an important first step.”
Rep. Kelly also reintroduced her Urban Progress (UP) Act (H.R 5164) to reduce gun violence through economic development and community reinvestment. The bill seeks to increase access to employment, quality education and training, and improved community-police relations, with the goal of creating safe, stable, self-sustaining communities.
“Nothing stops a bullet like an opportunity,” said Rep. Kelly. “We need to create more opportunities for our young people to pick up pens, pencils and job skills instead of guns and bullets.”