Congresswoman Speier believes that our gun violence epidemic is one of the most pressing public health crises of our time. Each day, an average of 100 Americans are killed with a gun. On average, more than 36,000 Americans, including close to 3,000 children, die of firearm injuries each year. Yet many in Congress still try to divert attention from the true nature of this issue, blaming mental health or video games. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a shooting, one factor is always the same: access to a deadly weapon that allows a shooter to lay waste to human life.

As a survivor of gun violence, Congresswoman Speier recognizes the immense physical and emotional toll of inaction. She currently serves as a Vice-Chair on the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, which works to save American lives by fixing gaps in our gun laws. Congresswoman Speier is a longtime champion of universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, gun and ammunition buyback programs, and incentives for states to establish Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, which are policies expanding prohibitions on firearm access for domestic abusers. She is an original cosponsor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 , which passed the House in February 2018 and has languished in the Senate. Congresswoman Speier also recognizes the important role of advanced user recognition technology in preventing the tragedies of the future. She introduced H.R.4730, the Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act, to help bring life-saving gun safety technology to market.

Congresswoman Speier understands that we cannot hope to address gun violence in a comprehensive and meaningful manner without research to inform evidence-based solutions. In June 2019, she hosted a press conference at the Capitol that brought together public health experts, including emergency room physicians and nurses who treat gunshot victims, to share their experiences of working on the front lines of our gun violence crisis and highlight the need for research. She also hosted a briefing for congressional staff on the issue. Congresswoman Speier was proud to support the Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020, which funded $50 million in gun violence prevention research for the first time in 20 years.

Congresswoman Speier also recognizes the relationship between gun violence and violence against women. In September 2019, she introduced H.Res. 555 to address misogyny-based gun violence and recommit Congress to preventing individuals with a history of violence against women from accessing a firearm. Approximately 4.5 million women in the U.S. have been threatened by an intimate partner with a firearm and the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of female homicide three-fold. An analysis of mass shootings by Everytown for Gun Safety found that the majority of mass shootings in the U.S. involved killing a former or current intimate partner or family member. Notably, a loophole in our laws allows those convicted of dating violence or misdemeanor stalking to continue to access a gun. Congresswoman Speier is a strong supporter of H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which would reauthorize the now-expired Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and close these loopholes.

Congresswoman Speier has been committed to gun violence prevention for more than two decades. In 1989, she managed the legislation banning assault weapons in California on the floor of the State Assembly. California now has some of the strongest gun safety laws in the country. During her time in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Speier has introduced bills to close loopholes in our background check system, require reporting of lost and stolen guns, modernize the definition of “armor piercing ammunition,” and incorporate child safety into consumer product safety standards for handguns.

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