State Watch

Mayors urge Senate to pass House-passed gun bills

Police in Laredo, Texas, found multiple handguns, rifles, and a bulletproof vest with armor plates after searching the home of a man who allegedly remarked that he planned to go “human hunting.” (Laredo Police Department)

The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Thursday wrote to Senate leaders urging them to pass two gun safety bills already approved by the House, reissuing a letter sent in August 2019.

The letter, first obtained by Politico, cited the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and in Buffalo, N.Y. It was signed by a bipartisan group of over 250 mayors.

“The same two bills passed the House more than one year ago and are again pending in the Senate: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act,” the letter said, asking then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for action.

“The tragic events in El Paso [Texas] and Dayton [Ohio] this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them,” the original letter from 2019 said. 

The two bills mentioned in the letter, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, would require background checks for all gun sales and would extend the review period for background checks, respectively.

Since the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde left 19 children and two adults dead and another in Buffalo killed 10 people at a grocery store last month, the issue of gun reform has been revitalized from lawmakers and public figures. 

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made an impassioned plea to lawmakers after the Texas school shooting, directly referencing H.R. 8. 

“There’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold on to power,” he said of the senators who have yet to vote on the bill. “So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings … I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children, and our elderly and our churchgoers?”

Tags buffalo shooting Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Gun control Mass shootings Mitch McConnell Steve Kerr Texas school shooting
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