Today marks one year since the passage of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R.8)—the first major gun violence prevention legislation to advance out of the House of Representatives in over a generation. This anniversary represents an important victory for the movement to protect children, not guns—but we cannot celebrate just yet. While the House took swift action to strengthen federal background check requirements, these reforms still haven’t been enacted into law, nearly 1 in 5 guns are still sold without background checks, and children are still being senselessly slaughtered in their schools and streets.
Why? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in the Senate. For 365 days, this legislation has stalled as gun violence has ravaged more communities and claimed more lives across the country. Nearly 40,000 gun deaths later, what will it take for the Senate to step up and protect children, not guns? Every day they fail to act, another 9 children and teens are robbed of their lives and futures by gun violence these Senators have the power to help prevent.
Enough is enough. The Senate must listen to the majority of Americans and pass the Background Check Expansion Act (S.42) now. Background checks do not prevent legal gun sales, but they could prevent child and teen gun deaths.