Sarbanes Leads Call for Gun Safety Reform

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today presided over the U.S. House of Representatives as Speaker Pro Tempore and called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to take immediate steps to pass critical gun safety reforms.

“For the victims of gun violence in every corner of this country, we must deliver actions, not words,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “House Democrats have already passed several pieces of gun safety legislation, including H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. These basic reforms have sat idly on Senator McConnell’s desk for more than 160 days. We stand ready to work with Senator McConnell and our colleagues in the Senate – on a bipartisan basis – to advance reforms that save lives and help put an end to this epidemic of gun violence. The question is whether Senator McConnell and his Congressional Republican colleagues are up to the task.”

In April, Congressman Sarbanes held a roundtable in Annapolis with community leaders, law enforcement representatives and public health experts to discuss the issue of gun safety.

Throughout his tenure, Congressman Sarbanes has fiercely advocated for gun safety reform. See below for a list of current legislation that he co-sponsors or supports.

  • The Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8) – This bill closes loopholes in the background check system by requiring private sellers to complete checks. It passed the House on February 27, 2019.
  • The Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 1112) – This bill closes the “Charleston loophole” in the background check system by preventing automatic approvals when checks are not completed within a few days. It passed the House on February 28, 2019.
  • The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1585) – This bill includes a provision prohibiting individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking or domestic abuse from owning firearms. It passed the House on April 4, 2019.
  • The Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 (H.R. 1296) – This bill makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device.
  • The Gun Violence Prevention Research Act (H.R. 674) – This bill authorizes $50 million per year, for five years, for gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • The Keep Americans Safe Act (H.R. 1186) – This bill bans new imports, sales, manufacturing, transfers or possession of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
  • The Raise the Age Act (H.R. 717) – This bill bans the sale of semiautomatic rifles to individuals under the age of 21.
  • The Disarm Hate Act (H.R. 2708) – This bill prohibits individuals convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from owning firearms. The current prohibition only applies to felony hate crimes.
  • The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act (H.R. 1236) – This bill creates a grant program to incentivize the passage of state-level extreme risk protection order laws – which allow courts to prohibit individuals from owning guns – like Maryland’s Red Flag Law.
  • The Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act (H.R. 3285) – This bill creates a grant program to help states develop licensing requirements for handgun purchasers.