House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is promising swift action on gun legislation when Democrats retake the majority in the House next Congress.
“The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people,” the incoming speaker of the House said in a statement.
Democrats plan to move forward immediately with legislation to require federal background checks for all gun purchases, including private ones.
“Since that unspeakable tragedy, too many families in too many places have been impacted by the deadly epidemic of gun violence,” Pelosi said Friday on the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. “Yet, at every opportunity Republicans refuse to lift a finger to stop the bloodshed. Enough is enough.”
“It will be strong legislation to expand background checks, and I will have a very respectful show of [co-sponsors],” Representative Mike Thompson, who heads a “gun violence prevention task force” among Democrats, told Politico. “I think you will see it happen in the first 100 days.”
“The American people want this. They’re way ahead of the Congress, they’re way ahead of the White House,” Thompson said.
“It’s very important to us, it’s one of our top priorities. We told the American voters that we do mean to do this, and we do mean to do it,” congressman Jerrold Nadler told Politico.
Mass shootings at schools, concerts, and bars by lone gunmen have marred the nation in recent years, prompting grieving parents and friends of those killed to demand Congress to pass stricter gun legislation. Others who have lost loved ones insist that more stringent laws will not address the underlying problems and say that mental-health awareness would do more to get to the root of the problem.
The Parkland, Fla., school shooting that killed 17 galvanized a movement of students and other activists calling for various school-safety reforms. A month after the Valentine’s Day tragedy, over 1 million people turned out for March for Our Lives events, calling for universal background checks and an increase of the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 years.