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Far too many Florida communities have experienced the heartbreaking effects of gun violence. The mass shootings at Pulse Night Club and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought national attention to the prevalence of these tragedies, and Florida activists have led the fight for commonsense gun control across the nation. Gun violence is preventable, and we can save lives by taking action.
I was part of the team that passed the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and I know we can achieve this kind of progress again. I’m currently working to pass legislation to keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands. We need mandatory and comprehensive background checks, assault weapon and high-capacity magazines bans, and red flag laws to keep our communities safe. We must also improve safety at schools, expand access to resources for victims, and create a national research agenda to tackle the root causes of gun violence.
Florida has already enacted several changes to state gun laws, raising the age of those who can purchase long guns and banning bump stocks. I’m fighting to make this kind of progress at a national level.
During my first term in Congress, I’ve taken numerous steps to ensure the safety of my constituents:
- I cosponsored and helped pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, to require a background check for every gun sale, including those at gun shows. We are now waiting for the Senate to vote on this critical, widely supported bill.
- I joined my colleagues to successfully request that the House Appropriations Committee allocate $50 million to funding gun violence research at the CDC and NIH. The 2020 funding bill signed by the President includes $25 million for gun violence research.
- I cosponsored H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban, to reinstate the Federal assault weapons ban, which prohibits the use of military style weapons, such as the AR-15-style weapons that were used in Pulse, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and many other mass shootings.
- I cosponsored H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, to support efforts to remove access to firearms from individuals pursuant to court orders issued by State or Tribal court.
- I cosponsored H.R. 717, the Raise the Age Act, to prohibit the sale of long-guns to those under 21. Under current law, people under 21 cannot purchase handguns, but are able to purchase assault weapons, like the AR-15.
- I cosponsored H.R. 2708, the Disarm Hate Act, to include misdemeanor hate crimes in the list of traits that prohibit someone from buying a gun.
- I cosponsored H.R. 3714, the EAGLES Act, to expand the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center, which helps address gun violence at schools.
- I cosponsored H.R. 3665, the School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act, to award grants to schools in order to make security improvements.
Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States. Every day, we face more loss of life and more heartbreak. As long as I am in Congress, I will work to keep Americans safe and prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.