Press Releases

Beyer Calls On Senate Majority Leader McConnell To Pass The Bipartisan Background Checks Act

Rep. Beyer (D-VA) today joined House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, survivors of gun violence, and his colleagues Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the U.S. Capitol to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up and pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. His remarks, below (as prepared), were delivered in the wake of recent mass shootings in El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH, and elsewhere.

“The issue that brings us here today is deadly serious. If this is a typical day in the United States there will be at least one mass shooting. They don’t all make national headlines like El Paso or Dayton, but they claim a huge toll in American life.

“Mitch McConnell isn’t doing anything about that. That isn’t because he doesn’t know about the problem or how to solve it. We know precisely why Mitch McConnell isn’t here. He is waiting for the outrage to die down, for the headlines to change and people to turn the page and go on. It’s what he always does. But as Mitch McConnell delays and waits for people to lose interest, nearly 100 Americans die every day from gun violence.

“In another hot DC August, 46 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King told the crowd which had assembled in Washington from across the country: ‘We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy… It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.’

“The House has done its job to save those lives. Mitch McConnell must act.”

Rep. Beyer has been a vocal advocate for legislation to prevent gun violence since taking office in 2015. He is a lead cosponsor of the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, and an original cosponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, and legislation to limit the size of ammunition magazines. He participated in the 2016 House Sit-In, and is a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.