Pritesh Gandhi (TX-10), "Common Sense Gun Safety"

Physicians like me see the trauma caused by our weak gun safety laws every day.

In 2012, weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I founded a group, Doctors Against Gun Violence, while I was doing my residency at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans. Along with fellow physicians, I crisscrossed the state of Louisiana providing a louder voice to promote evidence-based research in a campaign for common-sense gun safety laws.

Fund gun violence research.

After decades of the NRA placating gun manufacturers and bullying our elected officials to turn a blind eye, Congress is finally taking action to understand our gun violence crisis. However, the Senate is now blocking $50 million in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to study gun violence. The Senate should fund these efforts immediately.

Congress should implement these changes immediately:

Pass Universal Background Checks. No person should be able to purchase a deadly firearm from another person without first passing a background check that ensures they don’t have a criminal history, or a history of violence against themselves or others, that prohibits them from owning a gun.

Support Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Allow physicians and family members to report individuals – who are a risk to themselves or others – to law enforcement and allow law enforcement to temporarily revoke access to firearms with the order of a judge.

Ban Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines. No civilian should have a weapon of war for personal use. Congress should ban the purchase of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. Congress should also take steps to regulate the estimated 15 million assault weapons that are already in circulation, including establishing voluntary buy-back programs.

Close the Partner and Stalker Loopholes. Congress should expand the list of persons prohibited from purchasing a firearm to include individuals with a history of domestic violence and stalking.

End Gun Industry Immunity. Treat the gun industry just like any other and allow victims of gun violence to seek civil compensation from irresponsible gun manufacturers. Congress should close this NRA favored loophole in our civil justice system.
— https://www.gandhifortexas.com/common-sense-gun-safety

Pat Hackett (IN-02), "Common Sense and Responsible Gun Legislation"

Gun violence is a health crisis in this nation. I will advocate for the health and safety of our children by responsible gun laws and campaign finance reform. Seven children die as a result of gun violence every single day in the United States whether in their neighborhoods, in their schools, or in their churches. There have been more than 2,100 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. There were 846 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2015 and 997 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2016. These numbers are truly disturbing, and it is unacceptable that legislators have not taken action to curb gun violence. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment prevents us from removing weapons of war, designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, from the hands of civilians. The 2nd Amendment has become a marketing tool for gun manufacturers and the NRA. This issue is more about money than it is the Constitution. Citizens have the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. For example, to hunt and have a gun at home for protection or carry with a permit. Congress should enact commonsense gun laws that continue to protect the rights of responsible gun owners, while preventing tragic and unnecessary deaths. Here are some of the actions I support:

Require universal background checks, close the gun show and internet loopholes, so that all gun purchases, including private gun sales, are recorded, and purchasers are verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 74% of NRA members, and 87% of non-NRA members support criminal background checks for all gun purchases.[4] Universal background checks can protect Hoosiers by:

Banning gun sales to people with a history of violent behavior, including domestic violence.

Banning sales to people on terrorist watch lists.

Banning or removing guns from homes with suicidal residents.

Reenact the lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Assault rifles have become the weapon of choice for mass murderers in the US, and were used to kill innocent victims at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Aurora, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Parkland and El Paso. These weapons of war are far too easy to obtain, and they make mass shootings far too common.

Criminalize the possession of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. These weapons are difficult to defend against. While automatic weapons are no longer legal to manufacture for civilian use in the US, it is not hard or expensive to purchase kits that can convert semiautomatic weapons into ones that mimic the functionality of fully automatic weapons.

Ban high capacity magazines. There is no purpose for high capacity magazines other than to maximize the loss of life.

Repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protects gun manufacturers from liability litigation. This would encourage manufactures to implement safety measures, such as “smart guns” that can only be discharged by authorized users.

Fund the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence. In 1996 Congress, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, forbade the CDC to advocate or promote gun safety measures. As a result, the CDC eliminated all funding for research on gun violence, and no funding has been provided for more than 20 years. Research can provide information on what measures would be most effective in decreasing gun deaths in the United States.
Institute a waiting period for all gun sales in the US. Any law-abiding citizen should be able to wait for at least one day, or until a complete background check has been completed, before purchasing a gun.

Institute required safety training and exams for all gun owners. Safety training will help to ensure that all gun owners are well versed in the safe and legal operation of the weapons they own.
— https://pathackettforcongress.com/issue/gun-safety/

Jess Foster (VA H88) Issue Statement

Gun violence should also be viewed as a public health crisis. We must implement common-sense reforms such as universal background checks and protect the victims of domestic abuse by removing firearms from their attackers - this will not only protect our communities but also our law enforcement personnel.
— https://www.jessfoster.org/policy

Tim Hickey (VA H59) Issue Statement

The 59th District contains its fair share of hunters and other law-abiding gun owners. And most of them agree that we must insist on responsible gun ownership. I believe in common-sense measures that have broad support across communities. For instance, every Virginian should undergo a background check before purchasing a gun. A simple background check requirement has been effective in other states. In fact, states that have universal background checks have roughly half the rate of gun violence against law enforcement officers, almost half the number of gun suicides and almost half the number of women shot and killed by domestic partners. Almost everyone also agrees that people with serious mental illness should not be purchasing firearms and that neither people with felony records nor domestic abusers should be buying guns. People are also starting to recognize that we need to listen to families and household members when they petition courts to temporarily remove firearms from those who are acting in a way that indicates they may carry out a shooting. This is just good sense. Devices like bump stocks and semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines are unnecessary and are endangering our communities. I will work to implement measures that will reduce gun violence while still respecting the 2nd Amendment. Every family has a guaranteed right to life and liberty.
— https://www.timhickeyfordelegate.com/protecting-ourcommunities

Jennifer Woofter (VA H22) Issue Statement

There are few topics more polarizing than gun rights. But studies show that we are more united than meets the eye. There are plenty of commonsense steps we can take right now to reduce unintended gun violence. Things like tax breaks for gun safes, restraining orders that stop domestic abusers and those in mental crisis from getting guns, and universal background checks. These issues have wide support across party lines.
— https://www.jenniferwoofterfordelegate.com/priorities

Annette Hyde (VA Sen-24) Issue Statement

I believe in Second Amendment rights, and I believe in gun safety. Virginia should have universal background checks and ban bump stocks, large capacity magazines and assault weapons. Domestic abusers and the mentally ill who are a danger to themselves and the community should not be allowed to own guns. If you have to be 21 years old to buy alcohol or tobacco products, you should be 21 years old to buy any type of firearm.
— https://annetteservesva.com/working-for-you

Jim Kennedy (FL-08) Issue Statement

As a Veteran, I support the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms is an American right, and should continue to be protected as much as our other rights. But there needs to be rules, same as with Free Speech, you can’t defame someone. Felons chose to live outside the law. Choosing to do so means they chose to give up some rights, in this case firearms. I think we can all agree this makes sense. Under Federal Law 18 U.S.C § 992(d), it is prohibited to ‘sell or dispose of any firearm to someone who has been adjudicated as mentally defective’. When someone has a history of abuse or violence or instability, the law needs to ensure they no longer have access to firearms. The Right to possess firearms should not be removed, but it needs to be regulated. If you want to own firearms, do a background check and get a license from law enforcement. All firearm sales need to be documented and reported.
— http://www.kennedyforflorida.com/issue/gun-laws/#more-3264

Greg Sagan (TX-13), "My Thoughts on the Second Amendment"

Recently I received a survey from the National Rifle Association asking for my views – as a candidate for Congress – on a number of Second Amendment issues. This was my response:

Dear Mr. Ouimet:

I recently received your survey for Federal candidates for public office to find out where they stand on second amendment issues. I must admit that I found the questions in this survey to be rather biased, in some cases markedly so, so instead of answering your survey questions I will outline my position on second amendment rights in summary form.

First, I grew up with guns, and I support the second amendment in principle. I have owned handguns, rifles and/or shotguns for most of my adult life. I currently own two handguns, and I am licensed by the state of Texas to carry them openly, on my person, in public. With only a few exceptions, I carry one of them almost all the time I am outside. In addition, while on active duty with the US Navy (I am a Vietnam veteran) I was on the Navy Match Pistol Team while stationed in Subic Bay, R.P., and I am authorized to wear the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver “E” for “Expert.” So I consider myself a “second amendment” supporter in both words and deeds.

I also believe in certain restrictions to the second amendment. For example, I believe:

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a fully-automatic firearm;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a silencer;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a high capacity magazine – i.e., a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds;

– That no one be allowed to obtain a state or federal license to either own or carry a firearm without a background check, without adequate training, without an adequate mental health evaluation by a licensed professional psychologist or psychiatrist, without appropriate liability insurance, and without a demonstration of proper handling before a certified firearms instructor;

– That no one who has been prosecuted for domestic violence be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one who has been convicted of a violent crime of any kind be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one with a diagnosed mental health condition that makes him (or her) a risk to the public be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no civilian be allowed to own a functioning mortar, rocket launcher or “crew-served” weapon of any kind.

In addition, I believe that each state should be allowed to decide how to license people to carry firearms, whether to recognize reciprocity in firearm licensing with other states, and whether to modify their criminal statutes to address gun ownership and gun violence. I realize that there is a counter argument on the constitutional basis of “full faith and credit” for carrying firearms either openly or concealed, but I also recognize that there are exceptions to this clause (e.g., legalized marijuana) that apply to gun ownership, licensing and carrying.

As far as veterans returning from conflicts with “liberated” weapons, I would allow them to keep such weapons only if they are permanently rendered incapable of “fully automatic” functioning.

This is my position, so grade me as you will.
— Greg Sagan
Source: https://futuretense.blog/2018/01/02/my-tho...

Tom Winter (MT-AL), "Thoughts and prayers aren't enough"

Over the weekend, two mass shootings happened in the span of 13 hours. As of right now, 29 people lost their lives. There have been 251 shootings in 216 days this year.

After every single mass shooting, politicians race to social media to offer hollow “thoughts and prayers” — and frankly — I’m sick of it.

Make no mistake about it, this is a uniquely American problem.

I am a gun owner and I believe the 2nd Amendment is settled law. But there are gun safety measures that would save lives and help stop these horrifying events without infringing on our rights. All Congress has to do is vote. The Democratic-led House passed gun safety bills HR 8 and HR 1112 five months ago. They have been sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk ever since.

These are safety laws Congress could pass right now to help address mass shootings. Universal background checks, disarming domestic abusers, and instituting red flag laws are widely popular bipartisan issues. In fact, background checks are supported by 90% of Americans. These bills would be the first step in addressing our nation’s gun violence epidemic, and would work to prevent the next mass shooting.

This shouldn’t be a partisan issue - just like white nationalism’s growing connection to domestic terrorism. This is about common sense and who we want to be as a country.

We cannot afford to wait any longer. We must act now.
— Tom Winter

Tom Winter (MT-AL) Facebook Post

We need more from politicians than “thoughts & prayers” or “heart is broken” posts about the terrorism in El Paso today.

Let’s talk policy to save lives, now:

-insitute red flag laws
⁃disarm domestic abusers
⁃eliminate gun show & strawman loopholes
⁃seriously invest in mental health to stem the suicide crisis
⁃*actually focus* on terrorist threat of white nationalism

It’s only a start, but it might stem the heartache for future generations. The community of El Paso deserves nothing less.

Of course the 2nd amendment is the settled law of the land. Of course you own guns - I do too. But, these are things we can do to save lives now, without infringing on our constitution or our rights.

Enough is enough.
— https://www.facebook.com/WinterForMontana/

Natalie Cline (WV-01) Issue Statement

As a nation, we have a responsibility to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists. This can be achieved while protecting the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners with common sense policies. I will fight to implement universal background checks and higher penalties on gun trafficking.
— https://www.natalieclineforcongress.com/issues

Carolyn Long (WA-03) Issue Statement

I support Americans’ 2nd Amendment right to bear arms; however, we must treat the epidemic of gun violence like the public health crisis that it is. We have a duty to seek bipartisan solutions that will have an effective, lasting impact on gun violence. Policies like closing the loopholes on background checks, funding CDC research into gun violence, and closing the gun show loophole already have wide bipartisan support and we owe the thousands of victims of gun violence action instead of thoughts.

As a mother of a teenage daughter who goes to public school, and as an educator working at a public University, I share the worries of families who fear for their children’s safety when they should be focused on their education. It is a shame that our children are murdered and we do nothing to solve the problem because of special interest groups like the NRA.

Washington state is leading the way with sensible gun laws and the other Washington should follow our lead. We are saving lives with laws that temporarily restrict firearms from domestic abusers and those that have been adjudicated mentally ill. Congress needs to act and enact these kinds of laws at the Federal level.

All too often, the debate on guns focuses only on homicides when, in fact, over 60% of gun deaths are suicides. The research is clear: guns allow people to kill themselves much more easily than other methods. Families need to have the ability to work with law enforcement and mental health professionals to prevent tragedy and save lives.
— https://electlong.com/priorities/#gun-violence-prevention

Peter Khalil (WA-03) Issue Statement

39,773 Americans were killed by guns in 2017, the highest number in 50 years. Guns kill more adolescents in this country than cancer does. School shootings are routine. Communities of color experience disproportionately high homicide rates. As trauma surgeons across the country have argued so eloquently, gun violence is a serious public health issue. It doesn’t have to be this way. Cities and states across the country have managed to cut gun violence significantly without denying the 2nd amendment. We have the right to feel safe at school, at the movies, at work, and at worship.

Common-sense gun safety laws have been proven to work in the states that pass them, Washington included. If we pass these gun laws federally, we can save lives while still taking into account differences in gun culture in urban and rural areas. We need universal background checks for all firearms sales, no exceptions. Background checks help keep weapons out of the hands of people with a proven history of violence, including domestic violence and stalking.

Though these gun safety measures will help decrease gun violence in America, it will take a comprehensive push to address the many factors that drive gun violence at a societal level. We are often prevented from having a sustained, honest conversation on the issue because of the influence of the gun lobby in both state and federal politics. It is also true that 60% of gun deaths are suicides. This number is as high as it is because of both the easy availability of guns and the narrow availability of mental healthcare. Anti-corruption legislation and universal mental healthcare are as much a part of ending gun deaths as universal background checks.
— https://www.khalilforcongress.com/category/gun-violence/

Vangie Williams (VA-01) Issue Statement

It is well-settled law that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. I support this individual right of responsible and law abiding American citizens.

As someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence, I am not willing to accept the idea that the Second Amendment holds us powerless to prevent nearly 40,000 deaths and nearly 100,000 injuries from firearms each year in the United States. The answer is not found in arbitrary bans but in promoting responsible firearm ownership.

As your representative, I will work to promote the purchase of gun safes through tax incentives. Mass shootings make headlines, but suicides make up the vast majority of gun deaths each year. By preventing juvenile thoughts from turning into dangerous adult actions, we help prevent thousands of deaths. Responsible firearm storage also protects from accidental discharge when a toddler or a neighborhood friend finds a hidden firearm and believes it is a toy. Finally, increased use of gun safes will slow the proliferation of stolen firearms that account for nearly one-fourth of violent gun deaths annually.

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that we need universal background checks to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. We have to close loopholes that currently allow 1 in 5 guns to be sold in “no questions asked” transactions through private and online sales. That’s millions of guns sold without a background check and can easily fall into the hands of criminals and domestic abusers.

I will do more to prevent ownership of firearms by those who have battered their partner or spouse. While many states, including Virginia, have laws against firearm ownership by a spouse batterer, there are few requirements to actually check up on whether someone has actually surrendered their arms. The same issue exists at the federal level.

For too long, special interests have fought to prevent you from having access to the information that allows you to support intelligent policy. Never again can we allow people like Rob Wittman to co-sponsor bills like the SHARE (Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement) Act which removes restrictions on the use of silencers and flash suppressors and prevents the ATF from classifying ammunition as being “armor piercing.” Or vote on spending bills that curtail the ability of the Centers for Disease Control to perform meaningful research on how we can be safer without curtailing the rights of law-abiding Americans.

I speak to the silent majority of responsible gun owners who are justified in their fear of a gun grab but also don’t want to live in fear that their children will be the next victim. I ask you to join me in a fight that respects the individual right to bear arms and does more to protect the most vulnerable among us.
— https://vangieforcongress.com/issues/gun-reform/

Carol Iannuzzi (TX-26) Issue Statement

I am a Native Texan and have respect for individuals’ rights to the 2nd Amendment. As a mom, the thought of children in schools or in the interfaith communities not being safe is unacceptable to me.

In Congress, I will work to:

Require criminal background checks on every gun sale: Background checks protect the rights of responsible gun owners and save lives. Loopholes in our current laws allow felons, domestic abusers, and the severely mentally ill to avoid background checks by buying guns, often online, from sellers who are not required by federal law to run background checks. Background checks are the best way to ensure folks who are a danger to themselves or others are not able to legally purchase firearms.

Keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and domestic abusers: A woman is five times more likely to die if a gun is present in a domestic violence situation. We must close loopholes that allow abusive dating partners or spouses, and individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor stalking to purchase guns.

Keep weapons of war off our streets. I applaud the swift action by the government of New Zealand that banned military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines following mass shootings. We can do this here in America!

Support Red Flag laws. An individual deemed a risk to themselves or others should not have access to firearms. Additionally, there are multiple examples of warning signs with individuals who have committed mass shootings. Red flag laws give family members and law enforcement officials the ability to temporarily restrict access to firearms to individuals who are at risk. This bipartisan solution can and will save lives.

Support firearm research: I support appropriately funding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so it can perform research into mental health issues. We want research to help identify the appropriate policies to aid in the prevention of gun violence.
— https://carol2020.com/#/gun-violence-prevention/

Stephen Daniel (TX-06) Issue Statement

I grew up hunting and fishing as a boy and I am a gun owner and a supporter of the Second Amendment. I believe we should have sensible gun laws and they should be enforced. There are common sense regulations that we must have to combat this epidemic of mass shootings—including universal background checks. We need to prevent those who have been convicted of domestic violence from owning guns.
— https://stephendaniel.com/

Chris Rowe (TN-01) Issue Statement

Gun laws need to be reformed, no question. That said, I draw the line very clearly at banning semi-automatic weapons. I will support and push legislation which will actually make a change, including but not limited to: expanding background checks to private sales, required mental health screenings, red flag laws, banning violent criminals and domestic abusers from ownership, and similar measures. We don’t need to be banning more firearms from all people, we need to be banning all firearms from some people.

Tracy Mitrano (NY-23) Issue Statement

As a longtime resident of New York’s Southern Tier, I understand that guns are an important part of life to many in the district, and as your Congressional representative, I will work to protect the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners. Still, there must be a balance between a right to bear arms and public safety. We must implement safeguards, not to inhibit the rights of responsible gun owners, but to ensure that all gun owners are indeed responsible. There have been too many tragedies, in recent decades, to allow us to think that current gun control legislation is adequate to the task of ensuring our families’ safety.

I support comprehensive background checks for all gun owners, as well as the elimination of loopholes, such as the gun show loophole, that allow people to purchase guns without undergoing background checks. I support laws that would prevent people with a history of domestic abuse from buying weapons, and I will work to limit the influence of the gun lobby over legislation in Congress. Gun control legislation is a matter that should be decided by the people and their representatives, not lobbyists from the National Rifle Association.
— https://tracymitranoforcongress.com/priorities/the-second-amendment/

Tedra Cobb (NY-21) Issue Statement

Tedra Cobb is committed to maintaining an individual’s access to firearms for safe hunting and personal protection, while working to minimize gun violence, an escalating public health crisis. She calls on Congress to reject partisanship and address the issue with reason, integrity and cooperation.

By working together, we can ensure public health and safety while maintaining the freedoms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Congress has a moral and legal obligation to institute gun-related policies that protect the people.

We must reject partisanship and approach discussions about gun rights and public safety with sensitivity, objectivity and pragmatism.

Fully fund and allow the Centers for Disease Control to research causes of and solutions to gun violence.

Implement effective universal background checks for all gun sales, whether at gun shows, via the internet or at retailers.

Ban bump stocks and all other modifications that make a firearm fully automatic.

Expand protections under domestic violence statutes for domestic partners and victims of stalking.

Prohibit people who have committed hate crimes and/or who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.

Increase mental health service screenings to make sure questions are asked to determine whether those at risk of self-harm or harming others have access to firearms.

Revoke conceal-and-carry reciprocity that allows persons with permits from states with looser laws from carrying a firearm in states with stronger laws, like New York.

Increase funding and support for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

RELATED POLICY POSITIONS

Repeal the Tiahart Amendment, which requires that ATF gun traces be performed on paper, effectively making them useless in prevention of trafficking, and prohibits the ATF from requiring gun dealers to perform regular inventory checks.

Support campaign finance reforms that prevent organizations from bribing their representatives with campaign dollars.

Reject the idea of arming teachers in public schools.

Require gun safety courses and exams before issuing a license to purchase any gun.
— https://www.tedracobb.com/issues/addressing-gun-violence/

Rachel Kinsey (GA-11) Issue Statement

Firearms have been a cornerstone of our nation’s freedoms since our constitution was ratified in 1788. Firearms are an essential component of protecting ourselves, our families, and our businesses. Every time the tragedy of gun violence robs a family of a parent or child, it serves as a cruel reminder that some of our citizens should not be able to purchase guns due to a lack of respect for the awesome responsibility required to be a sensible gun owner.

After all of the horrific shootings from Parkland, to Sandy Hook, to Las Vegas, and others, we still have not acted to restrict gun sales to people who lack the mental capacity to act with the utmost respect for the safety of others. Responsible people should be allowed to purchase guns that suit their needs for self-defense and sportsmanship. No gun owner need fear that we are trying to take away their constitutional right to bear arms.

A sensible gun policy would benefit gun owners by weeding out those who are unfit for gun ownership. No longer would responsible gun owners be lumped together with those who do not share their respect and care for others’ well-being. The vast majority of gun owners want universal background checks so as to minimize the likelihood that a gun falls into the wrong hands and sullies the good name of responsible gun owners. In addition, banning bump stocks, raising the legal age to purchase firearms to 21, and banning high-capacity magazines and assault rifles that are designed for the maximum killing of humans during a war would benefit gun owners while respecting their right to self-defense and sporting.
— https://kinsey4congress.com/issues/