Brigid Callahan Harrison Will Tackle Gun Violence

As the wife of a police officer, I know that illegal guns are having a devastating impact in our communities. As a nation, we need to address this crisis by working hard to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those with a history of mental illness, domestic violence, violent criminals, and terrorists. Gun violence prevention means that we can protect the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners, while also ensuring that our communities are safe.

New Jersey’s gun violence prevention laws ban both the sale of assault weapons ban and large capacity magazine limits. In Congress, I would actively support reinstating a federal ban of assault weapons and limits on the sale of large capacity magazines. We need to stop criminals from purchasing these weapons of war designed to inflict massive casualties, and from transporting them across state lines where they are used to inflict massive damage.

Universal criminal background checks are essential to making our communities safer by preventing convicted criminals and the mentally ill from purchasing weapons they can use to do harm to themselves and others, but they only work if we close the loopholes so that all firearm buyers are subject to background checks. In Congress, I will support subjecting all gun purchases – including those bought at gun shows, on the Internet, or through classified ads – to universal background checks. We also need to give family members the tools they need to help prevent gun violence, including incentivizing states to pass laws that enable law enforcement officials or concerned family members to petition a judge for a “gun violence prevention order,” so that those who pose a threat to themselves or others can be temporarily disarmed.

Finally, it only makes sense that if a suspected terrorist is on the No-Fly list, that person should be prevented from buying a gun. We also can prevent the escalation of violence by ensuring that those with temporary restraining orders filed against them, including domestic abusers, be prevented from purchasing a firearm. We can close the “Charlestown Loophole,” and extend the background check period to 10 days, giving universal background checks the chance to prevent mass shootings, as such a law may have prevented the shooter from purchasing a firearm used to kill nine people at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC.

Each year, 113,108 people victims of gun violence in the United State, 36,383 people die, including 1488 children. In Congress, I will lead efforts to find responsible solutions America’s gun violence epidemic.