Three weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12th) indicated that universal background checks would be one of Democrats’ priorities if they re-captured the chamber. On November 6, 2018, the Democrats did just that, capturing at least 221 seats in the House with 18 seats yet to be declared.
The universal background checks policy would certainly save lives. Less than half the 50 states regulate gun sales made by private individuals, allowing them to transfer firearms without conducting background checks on buyers or maintaining any records of sale. This gives bad guys an easy, no-questions-asked source for guns when they can’t pass a background check and buy through federally licensed firearm dealers.
The problem is that the instant computer background checks conducted on American gun buyers are so weak in the United States that most violent individuals can pass them and don’t need to exploit the private sales loophole. This includes a majority of mass shooters (four or more innocent lives taken), many of whom are using semiautomatic assault rifles to increase their body counts.
A February 2018 Quinnipiac poll found that 67% of Americans support a federal assault weapons ban. It is a popular policy that has been enacted before in this country, from 1994-2004.
Please contact presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through one of the channels below and give her the following message, personalized to your liking:
Leader Pelosi, thank you for announcing that gun control will be one of the top priorities of Democrats now that you have retaken the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. It is my understanding that you intend to lead with legislation requiring universal background checks (UBC) on private sales of firearms. This is an important policy that would save lives, but it is also a very modest ask (90% of voters support UBC) that would not prevent violent individuals from obtaining firearms. The reason is because the instant computer background checks used to screen gun buyers—most of which are completed in just two minutes—are incredibly weak. The FBI reports that a majority of mass shooters are able to pass these instant checks and obtain their guns legally. Because of this, UBC legislation is not sufficient to signficiantly curb gun violence in this country. As someone who actively supported Democrats in the 2018 midterms, I want to see House Democrats engaging in new and bold thinking on gun policy. That means I want to see you leading with legislation to ban or effectively regulate (e.g., registration through National Firearms Act of 1934) semiautomatic assault weapons, which are repeatedly being used by shooters to increase body counts. I also want to (finally) see House Democrats promoting national licensing & registration for gun buyers! Such a system would involve superior screening at the point of purchase, waiting periods, and mandatory safety training; all critical elements that helped to dramatically reduce automobile-related deaths in the U.S. in the 20th century. No more meek half-solutions from your caucus on guns! Gun control is now a proven, winning issue for Democrats. Lead us with confidence and vision or step aside for someone who will.
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi
Phone: (202) 225-0100
Email via webform: https://www.democraticleader.gov/contact-us/
Once you have contacted presumptive Speaker Pelosi, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!