I’ve heard from many constituents about how outraged you are at this latest round of gun violence. I share your outrage and I’m sick and tired of the indifference some in Washington feel toward this issue. Please know I remain focused on doing everything I can to keep our communities safe.
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook nearly seven years ago, I’ve served as the Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. In that time, I’ve been working to build support for bipartisan legislation to address our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. We have finally seen some progress in this Congress. At the beginning of 2019, I introduced H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This bill would expand background checks to cover all firearm sales and passed the House in February. This represented the first major action Congress has taken on gun violence prevention in 25 years.
Unfortunately, one person is holding up consideration of this commonsense, bipartisan legislation in the Senate – Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. So far, he has been unwilling to hold a vote even though more than 90 percent of people in America support the bill. In the 163 days since my bill passed, countless lives have been lost. Leader McConnell must end this inaction. I led over 200 of my colleagues in a letter demanding he cancel recess, bring the Senate back into session and hold a vote on H.R. 8. We know this bill will help save lives and we must all continue working together to stand up and speak out on this important issue.
As we mourn for those lives lost and forever changed in Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton and countless other places that will never make headlines, I’m redoubling my efforts to change this tide and pass legislation to help keep our communities safe. I look forward to you joining me in this effort.
U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson represents California’s Fifth District, which includes Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley.