WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the House of Representatives vote to pass H.R. 7910, the Protecting our Kids Act, legislation that would raise the purchasing age for assault rifles to 21, mandate safe gun storage, prevent gun trafficking, ban high-capacity magazines, and implement other gun safety measures:
“I am proud to have been involved in the Judiciary Committee’s effort to advance this critical package under Chairman Nadler’s leadership, and that progressives helped pass it on the floor today. This bill will implement widely popular, commonsense policies that fulfill the most basic mandate of our government and society: keep our children, our families, and our communities safe. Today’s passage would not have been possible without the impassioned, tireless activists, volunteers, and survivors who have never given up the work for a safer America. In honor of their fight and the millions across this country who have lost a loved one to gun violence — and in commitment to losing not one more life — we voted yes today.
“As this bill heads to the Senate, the entire country is watching: will Senate Republicans finally join with Democrats to prevent further mass slaughter of our constituents, or will they remain beholden to the gun lobby and moneyed interests that would allow the devastation on our streets to continue? After Buffalo, Tree of Life, and El Paso, after Uvalde and Sandy Hook, after Pulse and Aurora and Columbine, will they finally heed the calls of the majority of Americans from across the political spectrum and act? Or will they simply throw up their hands and allow the carnage to continue? We have been elected to represent the will of the people — and it certainly does not represent their will to continue to allow our families to live in fear and at risk of being gunned down in schools, grocery stores, churches, and across our public spaces. It’s time to meet the urgency and moral clarity of this moment, and send gun safety legislation to the President’s desk.
“This is the beginning of essential congressional action, but it cannot — and will not — be the end. House Democrats will advance Rep. McBath and Rep. Carbajal’s Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act to ensure those who are a serious danger to themselves or others cannot access these deadly weapons. But our response must also include removing weapons of war from our streets, and passing an assault weapons ban — as President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and 210 members of the House have supported. Progressives in Congress are firmly supportive of this legislation, and will continue to push for its passage on the House floor so that we can continue the work of saving lives.”