JWI applauds the House and urges the Senate to further confront gun violence.

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JWI applauds the House of Representatives for passing two gun violence prevention measures this week that close loopholes in federal law that allow violent offenders to purchase guns without completing a background check. H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 mandates that every person who purchases a gun has to complete a background check and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 extends the time period for background check investigations from three days to 10 days, minimizing the risk that someone is able to purchase a gun who is prohibited from doing so. For the first time in nearly a decade, two important gun violence prevention measures passed a chamber of Congress.

While these bills should be seen as an important first step to reduce the gun deaths and injuries throughout our nation, we cannot blindly support the last minute changes that were included in H.R. 8. Unfortunately, an anti-immigrant amendment was added to the bill, specifically targeting those who have entered the country illegally.

We urge the Senate to take up Senator Murphy's clean version of the bill, S. 42, Background Check Expansion Act and to work in a bi-partisan fashion to save the thousands of lives that will be cut short due to gun violence.

Gun violence is an epidemic in this country and we must encourage our representatives to support all gun violence prevention legislation that will reduce the number of gun deaths and injuries that occur in communities across the country. The passage of these bills should be seen as a first step in creating a country where school children, concert goers, worshipers, employees, and those simply walking down the street no longer have to fear that a bullet will kill them or a friend or colleague. We cannot afford to lose another life because of a random act of violence that could have been prevented by stronger laws.