Gun Violence Prevention
“2021 was one of the deadliest years on record for gun violence, with thousands of Americans injured or killed by firearms. We must not resign ourselves to this as our tragic new ‘normal.’ We need to demand more of government and the private sector, including the manufacturers and dealers of firearms. If any other industry’s product enabled such violence and tragedy, they’d rightfully face accountability, and the gun industry should be no different.”
– Rep. Adam Schiff
For too long, Congress has failed to do anything to address the growing epidemic of gun violence. In 2021 alone, nearly 20,000 people died from gun violence in the United States. And while no one action is a panacea or silver bullet, that is not an excuse for inaction – Adam believes we need to take an all-of-the-above approach to curb gun violence.
After each mass shooting, there is a hope that Congress will finally be able to overcome opposition from Republicans and outside groups like the National Rifle Association, only for that hope to be dashed. Adam believes that if Congress is not able to act, the President must take aggressive executive action to curb gun violence and enact gun safety measures.
Passing Common Sense Gun Safety Reforms
Adam has fought to make gun safety reforms a priority for Congress, and when Democrats took back the House in 2019, Adam pushed leadership to make gun safety one of the main actions they took. Still, despite House action, the Senate has refused to act or find reasonable compromises that can actually make a reasonable difference.
Adam is an original co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require a background check for every gun sale or transfer, with reasonable and explicit exceptions such as giving a gun as a gift to a close family member; loaning a gun for hunting or target shooting, or providing a gun in a moment of self-defense. Adam is also an original co-sponsor of the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which would provide the FBI additional time to complete background check investigations for firearm sales, ensuring that these dangerous weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands. Adam is a supporter of countless other gun safety measures in Congress, as well.
Holding the Gun Industry Accountable
In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which provides immunity in state and federal court from civil liability for licensed manufacturers, distributors, and dealers of firearms in most negligence and products liability actions. At the time, the NRA stated that this bill was their number one priority. To counter this dangerous law, Adam introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would allow civil cases to go forward against irresponsible bad actors who’ve been able to hide behind PLCAA for far too long. Allowing courts to hear these cases will give the victims and families their day in court, while creating incentives for responsible business practices that would reduce gun-related injuries and deaths.
In 2021, President Biden said repealing PLCAA is a top priority for his gun safety agenda and Adam will continue to work with his colleagues in Congress to make sure the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act is signed into law.