During the last week of February, the House of Representatives passed two gun control bills, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, by strong majorities. H.R. 8 would require background checks on all private sales of firearms save those between immediate family members. H.R. 1112 extends the amount of time the FBI has to investigate a gun buyer’s background, closing the “Charleston Loophole.”
Most Democrats voted YES on H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, but several voted with Republicans on two ugly amendments attached to the bills. The first amendment was added to H.R. 8 by Republican Doug Collins of Georgia. It would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be notified whenever an undocumented immigrant attempts to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer. The xenophobic Collins Amendment was supported by 26 Democrats.*
A subsequent, bizarre amendment to H.R. 1112 was offered by Rep. Collins along with Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren from California. It would redefine the longstanding mental health disqualification for gun purchasers. The current federal prohibition, “adjudicated as a mental defective,” would be changed to read “adjudicated with mental illness, severe developmental disability, or severe emotional instability.” Such broad and arbitrary language would never be supported by the intersectional gun control movement.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Democratic House leaders Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina released Democrats to vote YES on the Collins and Lofgren amendments with the grudging support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Please contact House Democratic leaders below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
Thank you for your leadership in moving two gun control bills, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. It was wonderful to see universal background checks and the closing of the dangerous “Charleston Loophole” approved by solid majorities. I am very concerned, however, by Democratic support for two ugly amendments to H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112. The first was offered by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, It would notify ICE when undocumented immigrants attempt to buy a gun. A subsequent amendment was offered by Collins along with Rep. Zoe Lofgren. It would redefine disqualifications for gun purchasers based on mental illness in a way that is arbitrary and designed to anger the gun control movement’s intersectional allies. Multiple media outlets are reporting that Democratic House leadership ultimately decided to release 26 Democrats to vote with Republicans on the Collins Amendment to H.R. 8 (I am assuming this is the case for the Collins/Lofgren amendment to H.R. 1112 as well). This is deeply disturbing to me given the content of these amendments and the weakness it signals to Republicans (who are exploiting a lack of discipline in the Democratic ranks). Not a single Motion to Recommit passed when the Republicans were running the House. None should pass on your watch either! Whip your caucus and get them unified in rejecting these poison pill amendments. All they need to do to explain these votes in their districts is to say, “These are procedural votes and I am doing exactly what my Republican predecessor in this seat did—rejecting MTRs outright regardless of content.” Get them in line and FINALLY deliver the clean gun control bills that victims and survivors across the country deserve and have been waiting for. Enough is enough!
Once you have contacted one or more House Democratic leaders, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!
* The 26 defecting Democrats were Reps. Cindy Axne (IA), Anthony Brindisi (NY), Jim Costa (CA), Angie Craig (MN), Charlie Crist (FL), Joe Cunningham (SC), Antonio Delgado (NY). Abby Finkenauer(IA), Jared Golden (ME), Josh Gotteimer (NJ), Kendra Horn (OK), Andy Kim (NJ) Conor Lamb (PA), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Ben McAdams (UT), Stephanie Murphy (FL), Tom O’Halleran (AZ), Collin Peterson (MN), Max Rose (NY), Kurt Schrader (OR), Mikie Sherrill (NJ). Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), Xochitl Torres Small (NM) and Jeff Van Drew (NJ).