Jennifer Christie (IN-05), "Gun Safety"

Gun violence is an epidemic that requires common sense gun legislation. The majority of Americans, including legal gun-owners, already support such measures. Currently, laws vary wildly between states making gun safety more challenging. Implementing consistent nation-wide laws is critical to making gun safety meaningful:

Implementing universal background checks so that every gun sale has the same standard is simply common sense. We currently hold car licensing & registrations to a higher standard than guns. Establishing national gun licensing would help protect legal gun-owners from theft by encouraging better gun storage while discouraging illegal transfers or “straw” purchases. Safe gun storage is critical to gun safety. Harmonizing requirements for gun storage across states would reduce accidental deaths and help to keep guns out of the hands of minors. High-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons have no place in the civilian world and should be banned.
— https://www.jenniferforindiana.com/gun-safety-1

MJ Hegar (TX-Sen), "An Open Letter to John Cornyn"

Published by The Texas Tribune

Dear Sen. Cornyn:

As I was driving through West Texas talking to local folks recently, I heard the news of the mass shooting nearby in Midland and Odessa. My heart dropped as I pulled out my phone to get more information and saw gut-wrenching video of parents huddling in a field covering their children, who were screaming and crying, telling them that it would be all right while semi-automatic gunfire echoed in the background.

I flashed back to my time in Afghanistan as the sounds of war rang in my ears. This isn’t the first time something reminded me so viscerally of my three tours in combat. But something different happened to me when I heard the terrified cries of children layered over the gunfire. Now I was experiencing war not just as a soldier, but as a mother, and this wasn’t a war zone on foreign soil, but in the streets of west Texas.

From Sutherland Springs to Santa Fe to El Paso, the sounds of war have rung out in Texas churches, high schools and stores. Enough is enough. If we’re to be the land of the free, then the brave among us must act to give our people the freedom to go to movies, shop in stores and walk through parks without having to be vigilant for threats.

That starts with getting weapons of war off of our streets and calling on governors and state legislators to ban the open carry of weapons. The reality is this: The reasons gun owners like me have for wanting to protect our Second Amendment rights — chief among them protecting our families — are not served by open carry. In recent days, we have seen companies like Walmart and Kroger take the lead and ask patrons to not openly carry weapons in their stores, but we can’t depend on that. Open carry itself is an assault on every bystander within range, as we feel the need to flee and cover our children without the freedom to call law enforcement for help. We must empower people to “see something, say something.”

We must pass sweeping common-sense gun safety legislation that is dying in U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard, which would require background checks on every single gun sale — a proposal that a recent survey by The Washington Post-ABC News found was supported by 88% of gun owners and would close the loophole that may have allowed the Odessa shooter to acquire his weapon.

We need to stop the sale of assault weapons to the public, pass anti-trafficking regulations and red flag laws, give the Center for Disease Control the money needed to research gun violence prevention and increase straw purchase sentencing.

We know the gun violence epidemic in this country reaches far beyond the tragic mass shootings that we seem to be accepting as commonplace. Domestic violence, accidental shootings, children getting their hands on irresponsibly stored weapons and suicides are robbing us of our mothers, brothers, babies and our soul as a country.

John Cornyn, you have a choice before you. If you want to keep your job as a United States Senator working for the people of Texas, you need to quit working for the NRA and Mitch McConnell. As a mother, a Texan and a responsible gun owner, I sincerely hope you put politics aside and take the needed actions to protect our communities. We are Texas, and we’re in this together.
— MJ Hegar
Source: https://www.tribtalk.org/2019/09/09/an-ope...

Margaret Good (FL-16), "Stand with me against gun violence"

Earlier this month, our country lost more than 30 people in less than 24 hours in two mass shootings. El Paso, Dayton, Parkland, Pulse, Charleston. And it’s not just mass shootings — people are dying every day from gun violence. It is past time we take action.

That’s why my colleagues and I are calling for a special session of the Florida Legislature — to bring forward legislation that would curb gun violence.

The inaction has gone on for far too long, and we can’t accept it any longer. There are some foundational things that we can do that would have far-reaching impacts. We have called for the legislature to:

Implement universal background checks

Prohibit the sale, transfer, or possession of large-capacity magazines

Revise requirements for the safe storage of weapons in the home

Strengthen red flag legislation

Create an Urban Core Gun Violence Task Force

We cannot wait to take action on these proposals — many of which have bipartisan support. Real lives are on the line and it is our job to make this country safer for our generation and future generations.

Together, we will work to make these proposals a reality.
— Margaret Good

David Zilles (VA H23) Issue Statement

Protecting our families and communities from gun violence by passing sensible gun reform measures such as Universal Background Checks, Red Flag Laws, and effective Child Access Prevention laws.
— https://davidzillesfordelegate.com/

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

Ronnie Ross (VA Sen-27) Issue Statement

I love being outdoors. Yes, that means hiking and camping, but it also means shooting. While I prefer a 10/22 rifle, I recognize that from sports to hunting, everyone has their firearm of choice. However, I also realize that we need basic, common sense rules for firearm ownership. This is why I support the need for a permit when concealed carrying. This is also why I am for universal background checks. I want to make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of people who do harm. I also want to be sure that, when I buy a gun, my seller is someone I can trust. Background checks protect everyone.

We also need to do a better job when it comes to educating for gun storage. Guns should be stored in a safe, they should be unloaded, and they should not have ammunition in the chamber. These same guidelines should apply to daycares, which is why I support legislation requiring daycares to lock up their guns.

Finally, Virginia should not be subject to the gun laws of other states. This is why I will fight against concealed carry reciprocity. Visitors to Virginia should be subject to our laws.
— https://www.ronnieross.com/issues-1

Debra Rodman (VA Sen-12) Issue Statement

Henrico recently saw multiple instances of racist vandalism and vandalism threatening gun violence. Virginia was just devastated from a mass shooting in Virginia Beach. 12 years ago our Commonwealth mourned the loss of 33 lives at Virginia Tech. The time for action to prevent gun violence was long ago.

The reality is in 2019, every parent lives with fear when our kids get on the bus to school or go out to play. When children live with anxiety for their own safety, there are lifelong psychological and physical consequences while their young brains develop. Our country does not live up to its promise of equality of opportunity when children grow up afraid to go to school or traumatized by active shooter drills.

Debra has remained strong in the fight to prevent gun violence — fighting for universal background checks, red flag laws, stricter reporting rules when a firearm is lost or stolen, among others.
— https://www.debrarodman.com/meet-debra

Sri Kulkarni (TX-22) Facebook Post

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” This is a headline that I used to post every time there was a mass shooting, until it just got to be too painful to keep posting. As someone who has witnessed gun violence personally, who has had friends whose children have been murdered in mass shootings, and who has traveled the world to over 60 other countries, it is maddening, humiliating, and extremely painful to have to admit that my country’s politicians refuse to even try to do something about this problem. We have had more than one mass shooting per day this year. This weekend was particularly horrific, with at least 31 people killed, including 22 in El Paso, Texas.

The President is visiting Dayton and El Paso today. Despite our differences, there are several things that I agree with the President on. I agree with the President that we should implement “red flag” laws. There are many individuals whose prior behavior has indicated that they should not have access to firearms. However, there are other gun reforms we also need. We should enact locker laws to ensure people other than the owners do not have access to those weapons when the owners are out of the house. (This could have prevented the tragedy in Santa Fe, TX.) We should also have UNIVERSAL background checks, which the President committed to support in the past, but then backtracked on. There are many such common sense gun reforms that Republican and Democratic voters agree on, and our elected leaders should pass, but they have not because they are beholden to the NRA. To be clear, I support the 2nd amendment, whose first 14 words are “A well regulated military being necessary to the security of a free State...” All we are talking about is how to be well regulated. The purpose of the 2nd amendment from the beginning was to make Americans SAFER (by allowing each state militia to defend their people). If we are now more worried about the safety of our guns than the safety of our children, we end up abandoning the spirit of the Constitution as well as the security of our families, when we should be defending both.

Second, we do need more access to mental health care in this country. Many people have noted that the mentally ill are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of violence. But, that obscures the point that we cannot just talk about the “mentally ill” as if everyone else in our society has no need for mental health services. Just as we must invest more in preventative physical health care before our problems become acute, we must also invest heavily in access to mental health services for our entire society, because everyone has a state of mental health. Every human being (and especially our youth) gets stressed, and they respond to it in different ways. Every stressed out student should have access to mental health services, regardless of whether they have voiced a desire to harm themselves or others, because we should be striving for a healthy society, not just one that reacts to threats.

Lastly, while I appreciate that the President said we should condemn hate and white supremacy, which was clearly a motivation for the El Paso killer, stating that without retracting his own racist statements is hollow and insulting. The President started his campaign by saying that most migrants from Mexico were “rapists” and were bringing “drugs” and “crime” to America, while only “some,” he “assumes, are good people.” We cannot sugar coat this. This is hate speech, which incites people to see any Latinos as dangerous. When he said that an American of Latino heritage could not be his judge, he was telling the country that this ethnicity is less American than others (what Paul Ryan called “textbook racism.”) When he repeatedly uses the term “invasion” to describe migrants and asylum seekers, he cannot feign ignorance when killers in El Paso or Pittsburgh think they are being patriots by defending America against the imaginary “invasion” they have been told is happening on US soil. Using softer language like “unorthodox style” or “sensationalized rhetoric” normalizes what he is doing. The President has been inciting bigotry and even violence with his hate speech. In Christchurch, the killer directly referenced President Trump’s hate speech in his justification for murder. Even in his response to the mass shootings this weekend, he suggested tying gun reform legislation to “desperately needed immigration reform,” implying that if his proposals, such as building “The Wall” had been enacted, that would have somehow prevented a mass shooting. He continues to inflame anger even in our moment of national grief. Until he retracts and apologizes for his own incitement, including the calls for banning entire faiths, the racial slanders and stereotypes, and the promotion of fear mongering conspiracy theories, such as “birtherism”, millions of illegal voters, or full blown “invasion,” any visit to the victims of El Paso is insensitive and inappropriate.
— Sri Kulkarni

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/

Mike Broihier (KY-Sen) Issue Statement

The 2nd Amendment assures the right of citizens to keep and bear arms and with rights come great responsibility. Almost all gun owners agree with Mike that all gun sales should be cleared through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), closing the “Gun Show Loophole.” In addition, Mike believes that any device or modification that allows a semiautomatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon should be banned and that all guns should be secured with a cable lock, trigger lock or in a gun locker when not. Mike also agrees that their should be reasonable restrictions on high capacity magazines like drums and magazines that extend beyond the grip of a pistol.
— https://www.mikeforky.com/

Jillian Freeland (CO-05) Issue Statement

I am a traditionalist- we need to work toward the “well-regulated” provision of the Second Amendment written by our Founding Fathers. I support universal background checks for all firearm sales, nationally standardized education and licensing programs, prohibitions for abusers, safe storage requirements, and banning equipment such as suppressors, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks.
— https://jillianfreeland.com/issues

Andrew Romanoff (CO-Sen) Issue Statement

Over the last 25 years, I’ve met too many people all across Colorado who have lost loved ones to gun violence. My family joined that grim list in 2015.

We’re not alone. Gun violence claims the lives of more than 100 Americans each day, most by suicide. Gun violence is now the second leading cause of death among children—giving the U.S. the highest known rate in the world.

We’re making some progress in Colorado. In 2019 the state authorized judges to issue extreme risk protection orders in order to keep weapons from individuals who pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

Such “red flag” laws reduce death tolls and comport with the Constitution. My colleagues and I at Mental Health Colorado teamed up with law-enforcement leaders and gun-safety advocates to advance this proposal.

No such progress seems possible in Washington. Despite the daily drumbeat of gun violence, the gun lobby continues to block even modest reforms.

Enough is enough. We can and must take common-sense steps to save lives.

Here’s how:

Require background checks and waiting periods on all gun sales.

Strengthen the enforcement of existing gun laws, including the ban on straw purchases and bump stocks.

Equip the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives with the resources it needs to carry out its proper mission.

Impose an effective ban on the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Limit bulk gun purchases.

Fund federal research on gun violence prevention.

Extend the prohibition on gun sales to abusive partners and those convicted of stalking offenses.

End legal immunity for the gun industry.

Promote safe-storage requirements.

Fund local, evidence-based strategies to prevent gun violence.
— https://andrewromanoff.com/priority/prevent-gun-violence/

Mike Johnston (CO-Sen) Issue Statement

As a state Senator, Mike Johnston took on the NRA twice, and won, helping pass legislation to implement universal background checks and ban high-capacity magazines in Colorado.

Mike’s priorities for addressing gun violence in the Senate include:

Implementing universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole.

Banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Keeping guns out of the hands of those who have hurt or intend to hurt others, including domestic abusers, stalkers and those who commit hate crimes.

Passing a national Extreme Risk Protection Order law, so if there is reason to believe someone is a risk to themselves or others, their guns can be temporarily removed until they are no longer a risk.

Treating gun violence like the health crisis it is and funding research into how to address it.

Giving schools better resources to spot threats and provide interventions.

Making sure guns are stored safely in homes with children to prevent accidents and suicide.
— https://www.mikejohnstonforcolorado.com/policy/gun-safety/

Bobby Bliatout (CA-22) Facebook Post

As a gun owner and member of the CA Waterfowl Association, I strongly support increased gun safety and training laws including verification of gun locker ownership before purchase, stricter rules for gun show permits, and mandatory safety classes tied to permit renewal just like getting a driver’s license.
— Bobby Bliatout

Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-06) Issue Statement

As an ER doctor, I’ve seen the trauma, suffering and devastating loss of life from gun violence up close. The destruction it causes to the victims, their families and communities is heartbreaking and, oftentimes, avoidable.

I also support Second Amendment rights overall for law-abiding Americans to obtain firearms through legal channels to protect their homes, themselves and their families, and for hunting and sport. I do not see supporting both the Second Amendment and commonsense gun safety reform as mutually exclusive, though, and I find it increasingly difficult to follow arguments justifying the possession of military-grade weapons and similar accessories by the general public.

America, the only industrialized nation with this degree of violence, should address it as a public health issue. The U.S. has a history of using data-driven policies to make us safer – seat belts, child car seats, airbags. We should restore funding for gun violence research so that our policies actually have a positive impact on public safety. Are current laws effective? If not, why and what can be done to improve their implementation, or should the law itself be completely reformed?

The discussion should include innovative technologies, such as biometric locks and affordable, safe storage solutions.

I believe commonsense gun safety reform can ultimately be accomplished while protecting the rights of lawful gun owners. There is already consensus between households with firearms and those without, which include:

Closing the Internet and gun show “loopholes” by requiring background checks;

“No-fly, no buy” so that those on terrorist watch lists have harder access to firearms;

Ensuring that purchasers have passed necessary background checks, properly registered their firearm(s), and received appropriate gun safety training.

Finally, mental health must also be part of equation. Mass shootings are truly horrific and instantly capture our attention. However, suicides and homicides make up nearly 90% of gun-related deaths according to 2016 data available. When addressing the issue of gun violence, we too often ignore the contributing role of mental health issues, including substance abuse and addiction, to our regrettable detriment.
— https://hiralforcongress.com/issues/second-amendment-rights/