Working for Gun Safety

Americans expect gun owners to exercise their ownership in a responsible and safe manner.  That’s why the great majority of Americans, including a majority of gun owners, support common sense safety measures such as universal background checks.  In recent years, too many communities have suffered the tragedy of mass shootings by people that should never have had a gun.  We must do more to prevent high-powered, military-style firearms from getting into the hands of criminals, domestic abusers or the dangerously mentally ill.  It’s high time that Congress stood up to the gun lobby and took steps to stem the terrible tide of gun violence in our country.

Sarbanes Co-Sponsored

  • Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1217)

    • The Bipartisan King-Thompson bill closes loopholes in the current background check system by requiring comprehensive and enforceable background checks on all commercial gun sales, including those made at gun shows, over the internet or through classified ads.
  • Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (H.R. 2380)

    • Allows ATF to inspect records of gun show operators and vendors and subjects gun sales and transfers at gun shows to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • Assault Weapons Ban (H.R. 4269)

    • Prohibits the manufacture of semi-automatic and other military-style guns for consumer use and places limits on the resale of existing assault weapons.
  • Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act (H.R. 2732)

    • Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to states, local governments and Indian tribes to strengthen handgun purchaser licensing requirements and programs.
  • Public Health Effects of Gun Violence (H.R. 224)

    • Requires the Surgeon General to submit to Congress an annual report on the effects of gun violence on public health.

Sarbanes Voted


    • Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership in the House have not allowed any meaningful gun safety legislation to come to the floor so members have been prevented from casting their vote.

Took Special Action

  • Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 (H.R. 1076)

    • Congressman Sarbanes signed a discharge petition calling on Speaker Ryan to bring this “No Fly, No Buy” bill to the floor.  The bill allows the Attorney General to deny a firearms license to any individual who is determined to be engaged in or supportive of terrorist activities.

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Congressman John Sarbanes was proud to join Marylanders Against Gun Violence and other gun safety advocates at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore on July 29, 2016 to call upon Congressional leaders to allow a vote on key gun safety legislation.