More than a year after 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, little has been done on a federal level to combat gun violence, Suozzi says.
Huntington, NY - February 19, 2019 - Today, Congressman Tom Suozzi (D – Long Island, Queens) held a press conference with Linda Beigel Schulman, who lost her son Scott in last year’s Parkland shooting, and other gun violence prevention advocates in support of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, a bill to require a background check on all gun purchases. The group paid tribute to the victims of last year’s Parkland shooting and urged swift passage of H.R. 8 in the House.
Linda Beigel Schulman has dedicated her herself to promoting common-sense gun legislation. Linda advocated tirelessly for a Red Flag law in New York and has noted that had a similar law existed before the shooting in Parkland, her son might still be alive today. A few weeks ago, the New York State legislature passed Red Flag legislation.
Additional gun violence prevention groups such as Moms Demand Action and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence were also present to thank Suozzi for supporting H.R. 8.
“It has been more than a year since last year’s tragic shootings in Parkland and sadly, little has been done to combat the scourge of gun violence on a federal level,” said Congressman Suozzi. “That is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Linda has taken the tragic experience of losing a son to gun violence and become a strong advocate for common-sense gun violence reform. I am honored to work with her to fight for universal background checks. We must do all we can do to prevent this from ever happening again.”
“Congressman Suozzi totally gets that H.R. 8 should not be a partisan issue and is fighting for the safety of everyone. He does not speak as a politician, he speaks as a father who cares deeply, and as a person who is determined to make safety his primary issue,” said Linda Beigel Schulman. “I stand with Congressman Suozzi for reasonable gun control legislation so that we can all take a deep breath and feel safe in our everyday lives.”
H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, would require that every sale of a firearm include a background check. This bill would close the “gun show” loophole that currently allows unlicensed sellers from transferring a firearm to a buyer without performing a background check on the individual. Under federal law, certain individuals are barred from possessing guns (felons convicted of violent crimes or domestic abuse, unlawful users of controlled substances, and individuals subject to court restraining orders). H.R. 8 would help ensure that guns are kept out of the hands of potentially dangerous people; in fact, states that have expanded their background check system have seen marked decreases in incidences of gun violence.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 is an important first step in addressing the public health threat that gun violence poses in our communities.