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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. 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 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 introduced this as H.R. 6629 in the 115th Congress.)

I'm an original co-sponsor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill 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. (I cosponsored similar bills as H.R. 4240 in the 115th Congress,  H.R. 1217 in the 114th Congress and H.R. 1565 in the 113th Congress.)

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. This 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. 5087 in the 115th Congress, H.R. 4269 in the 114th Congress, and H.R. 437 in the 113th Congress.)


In the 115th Congress:

I was 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 cosponsored 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 cosponsored 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 cosponsored 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

August 5, 2019 Press Release

CASTRO VALLEY, CA – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) will host a community forum on ending gun violence and domestic terrorism on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

“Following the massacres at Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, and as our cities reel from gun violence day after day, it’s time to discuss the action that’s needed to save American lives,” Swalwell said. “I want to update my 15th Congressional District friends and neighbors on what local and federal law enforcement, national stakeholders, and Congress are doing, and I want to hear from residents about their concerns and wishes.”

May 23, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, introduced the Freedom from Assault Weapons Act, to ban assault weapons and require the government to buy them back, removing them once and for all from American communities.

“Weapons of war have no place in our communities,” said Swalwell.  “They are designed to cause the most loss of life in the shortest amount of time, something we’ve seen over and over from our children’s schools to every faith’s house of worship. 

February 15, 2019 Press Release

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

H.R. 1287, 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.