213 Democratic lawmakers call on McConnell to bring up background checks bills

213 Democratic lawmakers call on McConnell to bring up background checks bills
© Greg Nash

More than 200 Democratic House lawmakers led by Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonPelosi digs in on impeachment rules fight House votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap On The Money: Pelosi, Trump tout deal on new NAFTA | McConnell says no trade vote until impeachment trial wraps up | Lawmakers push spending deadline to Thursday MORE (D-Calif.) are trying to ramp up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (R-Ky.) to call a vote on House-passed legislation aimed at strengthening background checks for gun purchases.

In a letter sent to McConnell on Wednesday, following two mass shootings last weekend, the 213 lawmakers argued the legislation is backed by the majority of Americans and would implement a live-saving policy.

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“We strongly urge you to take immediate action to call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act,” they wrote. 

“In February, the new Democratic House Majority took swift action to pass these bipartisan bills which not only save lives, but also has the support of more than 90 percent of the American people. Since that time, you have allowed more than 150 days to pass and countless lives have been lost including those most recently lost in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and the many others who will never make the headlines.”

The group said background checks are proven to help prevent criminals from obtaining weapons and deter future instances of mass violence.

"This inaction must stop. We know background checks save lives. Every day background checks stop more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun,” the continued. 

“Any delay to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation only increases the chances that more innocent people in America may suffer from the tragic and needless loss caused by gun violence.”

The letter follows House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.) calling on McConnell to cut the upper chamber’s August recess short to bring up gun control measures