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The House Takes Action on Gun Reform. The Senate? Still Talking.

It's been less than one week since I last wrote about gun violence. Since then, there have been 14 MORE mass shootings in the United States. In just one weekend,more than a dozen people were killed and 70 injured. This is beyond absurd; it is horrifying. What's worse is that the Senate has yet to act to pass any common sense gun laws to protect Americans and their families. NOT ONE!

The House of Representatives has moved swiftly to send bills to the Senate that the President would sign. I proudly voted to support the Protecting our Kids Act, which raises the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, restricts access to large capacity magazines, bans bump stocks, improves the background check process to prevent discrimination, and more. Also, the Federal Risk Protection Order Act of 2022, which closes the "red flag loophole" by allowing family members and law enforcement to temporarily remove access to firearms for those deemed a danger to themselves or others by a federal court.

These laws aren't extreme. They aren't extraneous. They are common sense. And a majority of Americans are in favor of them.

Gun laws are indeed a political issue. Oregon has taken some steps to keep people safe, but our gun death rate is still higher than neighboring states that have enacted stronger gun safety laws. There is more we can do.

Oregonians wishing to show their support can join the March for our Lives Portland on Saturday, June 11, from 12-2 pm. Or join the Lift Every Voice Oregon campaign to help gather the 140,000 signatures needed to put Initiative Petition 17 on the fall ballot. This initiative would accomplish five key gun safety goals including requiring a license to purchase a gun, mandatory background checks and safety training, and limiting high capacity magazines. These are common sense actions that are supported by gun owners and non-gun owners alike and have been shown to reduce gun violence, injury, and death in other states.

For those who say that there are already enough gun restriction laws on the books and that we should look elsewhere to find solutions, I want to remind them that the American people are suffering right now and the world is watching. This unnecessary loss of life and tragedy will continue for as long as the Senate does not act.

No single step or bill will solve the gun violence crisis in America, but unless we start now there will be more needless death and suffering. There are things we can do now which will make a difference.

Enough is enough. I won't stop fighting until this Congress gets meaningful, common sense gun reform bills to the President's desk.



Posted on June 10, 2022.