Gun Violence Prevention
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. Our whole nation has seen too many mass shootings in cities from Newtown, to Aurora, to Tucson, to Orlando; too many cities see deadly gun violence every day. It is time to act to prevent this type of violence - 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 commonsense reforms to prevent gun violence and make Americans safer. We must 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.
To keep these weapons of war out of our communities, I support banning the manufacture, import, sale, and possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines (i.e., hold more than 10 rounds). 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 hunting/shooting clubs. Read more about more about my proposal in my USA Today op-ed.
What I am Doing for You
I am a long-time member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force (chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)).
In the 116th Congress, my colleagues and I on the House Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on gun violence prevention in nearly a decade.
A few weeks later, I voted for and the House passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill, of which I am a co-sponsor, would expand the federal background check system to cover all 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.
To address the tragic epidemic of mass shootings our country has witnessed, I introduced H.R. 2959, the Freedom from Assault Weapons Act. This bill would ban certain assault weapons and ban high capacity feeding devices. The bans would apply to all current and future assault weapons and devices, providing a multi-year grace period during which the government would buy them back from people at market rates.
I introduced H.R. 1287, 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 report. And the bill would require the Attorney General to propose federal legislation and adopt rules, policies and practices consistent with those best practices. (I introduced this as H.R. 6629 in the 115th Congress.)
To stem the tide of overpowered weapons to our schools, streets, and communities of H.R. 1296, I co-sponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. This bill would ban certain assault weapons and high capacity magazines. (I co-sponsored this as H.R. 5087 in the 115th Congress, H.R. 4269 in the 114th Congress, and H.R. 437 in the 113th Congress.)
I also co-sponsored H.R. 435, the National Gun Violence Research Act. This bipartisan bill would formally repeal the Dickey amendment, a longtime roadblock that prevents 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.
More on Gun Violence Prevention
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) reintroduced gun safety legislation that will help states enforce existing laws against individuals who attempt to purchase firearms but have no legal right to do so.
WASHINGTON DC - Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) re-introduced the No Guns for Abusers Act to protect victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence remains a persistent threat to many Americans––particularly women––and firearm ownership can often escalate abuse and turn deadly. The risk of intimate partner homicide is five times greater if an abuser has access to a firearm.
UPDATE MARCH 11, 2020: Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health, a decision has been made to POSTPONE this Community Forum on Gun Safety.