Schakowsky Votes for Lifesaving, Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Bills

March 11, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, released the following statement on the passage of gun violence prevention legislation:

“Today, the House passed two important bills that will help prevent future gun violence tragedies in the United States. I am so proud to have cosponsored, voted for, and helped pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. Both bills are common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that will ensure comprehensive background checks are conducted for every gun sale and transfer, ensuring that guns do not fall into the wrong hands – closing existing loopholes within the federal gun background check system.

“For too many years we have witnessed terrifying and heartbreaking shootings across the country. Shootings like those at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, Pulse Night Club, Stoneman Douglas High School, and so many more have shown us each time that we MUST pass common-sense gun legislation. It is estimated that nearly 3,000 American children and teenagers are shot and killed each year, while 3 million children are exposed to gun violence each year. In 2020 alone, more than 19,000 people lost their lives due to gun violence. This past summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on and protests took place across the country, we also saw a surge in firearm sales, surpassing more than any other single year.

“Some of my colleagues continue to offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ yet fail to take any real action to save lives. I hear from my constituents all the time that they want to see real action taken. One of those constituents, Erinn, a parent from Winnetka, Illinois, recently called me and said something that reflects the majority of Americans stance on enhanced background checks. She said ‘Please cosponsor background checks. I’ve been waiting as a mom, and I’m shocked as a parent, a U.S. Citizen, that we have not pushed this forward.’

“Despite both bills passing out of the House last Congress, under former Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, neither bill was ever brought to the Senate floor for a vote. With President Biden now in the White House, a Democratic majority in the Senate, and more than 90 percent of American’s who support background checks, I am hopeful that we will finally pass some modest gun safety legislation into law that protects our children and our communities. It has been 25 years since our nation has passed any meaningful gun reform. I believe that the courage, passion, and persistence of gun violence prevention advocates, and students around the country will change the dynamics, allow us to overcome the NRA, and keep our community safe. I am proud to join in that effort.”