ISSUE SPOTLIGHT: Gun Legislation

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This week the country grappled with the tragedy in Orlando, Fla. Fifty people died and 53 more were injured in a shooting early Sunday morning at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in the city. The mass shooting was both the largest non-military massacre and deadliest attack on the LGBT community in U.S. history. The city of Orlando has released a list of the victims, many of whom were Latino, as the shooting occurred during a Latino pride event at the club.

The fiftieth casualty was the shooter himself, Omar Mateen. Although Mateen may have previously declared allegiance to the Islamic State on a Facebook account that investigators believe to be associated with him, CIA director John Brennan testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week that the agency has not been “able to uncover any link” between the Islamic State and Mateen. Mateen’s disputed affiliation with the terrorist group has sparked much debate in the days following the shooting.

On Monday, the House held moment of silence for victims of the Orlando massacre. Several Democrats walked off the floor in protest, calling for votes on gun related legislation.

Following the moment of silence, shouts of "Do something" and"Where's the bill?" filled the chamber, beginning as reference to bill that would ban people on terrorist no-fly list from purchasing guns and evolving into broad call for gun related legislation.

We've highlighted several bills that have gotten a mention in the news or in Congress in the wake of the Orlando shooting. â€‹Hear of a bill but not sure of the name and sponsor? Tweet us @POPVOX or e-mail us at, and our team of legislative nerds will help you find the bill you're hearing about.


Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act (H.R. 1076 / S. 551)
Sponsor: Rep. Peter King [R, NY-2] / Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D, CA]
Bill would provide DOJ authority to prevent a known or suspected terrorist from purchasing firearms or explosives. 


Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act (H.R. 2732 / S. 1751)
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Van Hollen [D, MD-8] / Sen. Christopher Murphy [D, CT] 
Bill would authorize DOJ grant program to encourage states to establish permit-to-purchase requirements for all handguns, including at gun shows with private sellers. 


Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015 (H.R. 3411)
Sponsor: Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-14]
Bill would ensure all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.


Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2015 (H.R. 2380)
Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY-12]
Bill would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.


Background Check Completion Act (H.R. 3051)
Sponsor: Rep. James Clyburn [D, SC-6]
Bill would eliminate requirement that a firearms dealer transfer a firearm if the national instant criminal background check system has been unable to complete a background check of the prospective transferee within 3 business days.


Safer Communities Act of 2015 (H.R. 2994)
Sponsor: Rep. Mike Thompson [D, CA-5]
Bill strengthening the Nation’s mental health infrastructure, improving the understanding of violence, strengthening firearm prohibitions and protections for at-risk individuals, and improving and expanding the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.


Keeping Guns From Criminals Act (H.R. 2871)
Sponsor: Rep. Donald Beyer [D, VA-8]
Bill would provide an incentive for firearm owners to sell their firearms safely and responsibly.


Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 (H.R. 4269)
Sponsor: Rep. David Cicilline [D, RI-1]
Bill would prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of new military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.


Home-Assembled Firearms Restriction Act of 2015 (H.R. 376)
Sponsor: Rep. Michael Honda [D, CA-17]
Bill to prohibit the sale, offering for sale, manufacture for sale, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and to prohibit the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications.


Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act (H.R. 226)
Sponsor: Rep. Robin Kelly [D, IL-2]
Bill to amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the sale or other disposition of a firearm to, and the possession, shipment, transportation, or receipt of a firearm by, certain classes of high-risk individuals.


To authorize the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention (S. 1473)
Sponsor: Sen. Edward Markey [D, MA]


To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to extend the period during which a firearms licensee is required to wait for a response from the national instant criminal background check system before being allowed to transfer a firearm to a prospective transferee (H.R. 3375)
Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey [D, NY-17]


Firearm Risk Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 2546)
Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D, NY-12]
Bill would prohibit the sale of a firearm to, and the purchase of a firearm by, a person who is not covered by appropriate liability insurance coverage.


Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.

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