Val Demings, Ted Deutch Want Mitch McConnell to Hold Senate Vote on Background Checks

This week, two Democrats in the Florida delegation–U.S. Rep. Val Demings and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch–joined with fellow members of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to urge U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to consider two measures adding more background checks to purchase guns.

The task force–made up of congressional Democrats–wrote McConnell on Wednesday. Deutch is part of the task force’s leadership as chief whip.

The letter was as follows:

Dear Majority Leader:

As the leadership of the House of Representatives Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we request a meeting with you to discuss Senate consideration of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. Both bills passed the House with bipartisan support and have strong support with the American public.

Sadly, gun violence has left no state untouched. This year alone, 155 Kentuckians have been killed by someone using a gun and the State has experienced five mass shootings. These tragedies will leave lasting trauma. America does not have to live this way.

Gun violence should not be a political issue. We know that more than 90 percent of people in America support background checks – and for good reason. Every day, background checks stop 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun from a licensed dealer. The American people sent us to Washington to get things done. That includes putting an end to the epidemic of gun violence.

We hope you will take the time to meet with us to talk about how we can advance H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112. We are committed to finding bipartisan solutions and hope you will make this issue a priority in the Senate. We look forward to your timely response to this urgent matter.


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  1. The overlooked point of these “universal background checks,” since we already have background checks is that these would include PRIVATE SALES. That’s right. You would no longer be able to sell your private property in a voluntary agreement between you and a buyer. You would need to go through a FFL licensee to sell your own property. Now, this will help create (because it won’t work long term without) a national gun registry. A national gun registry would also be the outcome of the ill advised and unconstitutional national reciprocity proposal. Republicans can be counted on to cave on all of this eventually.


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