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Engel Statement on House Passage of H.R. 8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act

Engel Statement on House Passage of H.R. 8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, issued the following statement after House passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019:

“Today’s passage of H.R. 8 marks a significant shift in how the House does business under new Democratic leadership. After years of obstinance and inaction from Republican leaders, our legislative body has finally passed a major piece of meaningful gun violence prevention legislation to help curtail our nation’s gun violence epidemic. And it is just the start for us.

“It’s nice to be able to move the ball forward on gun safety without having to take over the House floor in protest, as we were forced to do 3 years ago while in the minority. H.R. 8 is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that will require a background check for every gun sale or transfer, with only very explicit exceptions.It’s supported by a wide range of gun safety and law enforcement groups, and has long been championed by the medical and educational communities. More than 90 percent of the American people support background checks, in addition to 90 percent of gun owning households. The only people who don’t want this are the right wing extremists in the NRA, who held a stranglehold on the House by way of their surrogates in the GOP leadership. But Congress doesn’t work for the NRA. We work for the American people, and today House Democrats have made that clear.

“Gun violence has torn our nation apart for far too long. The price American families have paid for Congress’ inaction is immeasurable. We have a moral obligation to act, and H.R. 8 is exactly the type of legislation we needed. I hope we can soon follow suit by passing a new assault weapons ban.”