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Congressman Eric Swalwell

Representing the 15th District of California


Gun Violence Prevention

Firearms are used to kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. As a former prosecutor whose father is a retired police officer and whose two younger brothers currently serve in law enforcement, I have witnessed first-hand the damage guns cause. Indeed our whole a nation has seen too many mass shootings in cities from Newtown, to Aurora, to Tucson, to Orlando. It is time to act to prevent this type of violence - for if we fail to act, nothing will change.

At the same time, I am the son and brother of hunters and gun owners. I know that guns can be used responsibly and the Second Amendment provides individuals certain rights to own firearms.

I support common sense reforms to prevent gun violence and make Americans safer. We need to keep dangerous weapons off of our streets, improve our background check system, make sure the mentally ill receive the treatment they need, and provide schools the required resources to keep our children secure. We can’t take hatred out of hearts, but we can do more to keep deadly weapons out of hateful hands.

That means taking weapons of war out of our communities, so I support banning possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. We should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the new law, and anyone found to be in possession of such a weapon after the buyback period has elapsed would be in violation and subject to prosecution. The ban would not apply to law enforcement agencies or shooting clubs. Read more about more about my proposal in my USA Today op-ed.

What I am Doing for You

I introduced H.R. 6629, the No Guns for Abusers Act. This bill would require the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to report to Congress on the best practices that jurisdictions should use to require anyone charged with or convicted of a domestic violence crime, or subject to a domestic violence protective order, to relinquish all their firearms. The Attorney General would be authorized to award grants to jurisdictions which already have or adopt programs substantially similar to the best practices identified in the NIJ repport. And the bill would require the Attorney General to propose federal legislation and adopt rules, policies and practices consistent with those best practices.

I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 4240, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill would expand the federal background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the internet, or in classified ads, while also incentivizing states to provide more accurate and complete information to the national background check database. (I cosponsored this as H.R. 1217 in the 114th Congress and as H.R. 1565 in the 113th Congress.)

I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 4057, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act. This bipartisan “no fly, no buy” bill would deny people on the terrorist watch list the ability to purchase a firearm. (I cosponsored this as H.R. 1076 in the 114th Congress.)

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 5087, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018This bill would ban certain assault weapons, similar to existing California law, and ban ammunition feeding devices holding more than 10 rounds. (I cosponsored this as H.R. 4269 in the 114th Congress and as H.R. 437 in the 113th Congress.)

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3464, the Background Check Completion Act of 2017. This bill would close the “Charleston loophole” – which let Dylan Roof buy the gun he used to murder nine churchgoers in 2015 in Charleston, S.C. –  that has allowed dealers to hand over guns to buyers if a background check isn't finished within three days.

I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 2598, the Gun Violence Restraining Order Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill would allow for the creation of a Gun Violence Prevention Order system in which families can ask their local courts to prevent a loved one from possessing a firearm, if the court finds that the individual poses a risk of injury to themselves or others.

I'm a cosponsor of H.R. 1478, the Gun Violence Research Act. This bipartisan bill would formally repeal the Dickey amendment, a longtime roadblock preventing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal health agencies from sponsoring independent research into the causes of, and potential solutions to, gun violence.


Rep. Swalwell speaks during House Democrats’ sit-in for gun reform legislation, June 2016.


In the 113th Congress:

I cosponsored H.R. 431, the Gun Transparency and Accountability (Gun TRAC) Act. This bill would improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to track illegal guns.


More on Gun Violence Prevention

September 2, 2018 In The News

“It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”

I was a 20-year-old college junior when a seemingly fearless U.S. Sen. John McCain spoke these reassuring words after I’d waited 30 minutes in line to shake his hand. A few months earlier, I’d been on my way to work as a House intern when the World Trade Center fell, the Pentagon burned, and a plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

July 26, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) on Thursday introduced a bill to help protect domestic violence victims from being murdered with guns.

The No Guns for Abusers Act would require the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to report to Congress on the best practices that jurisdictions should use to require anyone charged with or convicted of a domestic violence crime, or subject to a domestic violence protective order, to relinquish all their firearms.

May 3, 2018 In The News

Gary Jackson never stood a chance.

Gary was 28 and working as a security guard at a taco truck in Oakland, Calif., in 2009 when he saw Dreshawn Lee carrying a sawed-off shotgun and reported it to police. Three months later, Lee took his revenge by shooting and killing Jackson with an AK-47-style semiautomatic assault rifle.

I was the prosecutor who persuaded a jury to convict Lee and persuaded a judge to put him away for 65 years to life. But Gary’s autopsy report still haunts me.