The time has come for action on gun violence. According to the CDC, guns were responsible for nearly 40,000 deaths in 2017, more than the number of deaths caused by automobile accidents.
Large, bipartisan majorities support a broad range of common sense gun safety measures, but political partisanship has prevented the government from taking the necessary steps. Delaney believes it is possible to respect the Second Amendment and still adopt meaningful reforms.
Universal Background Checks
97 percent of the American people agree that we need universal background checks on gun sales, including closing the loophole for private sellers. Federal background checks stopped more than 112,000 gun sales out of approximately 8.6 million transactions in 2017, demonstrating that universal background checks are an effective tool to keep guns out of the wrong hands while still allowing law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights.
- Delaney supports requiring background checks for every gun sale.
High-powered, military-style assault weapons have no place on our streets. Since the expiration of the original assault weapons ban in 2004, mass shootings have become far more deadly. Different variations of one type of assault weapon, the AR-15, have been used in some of America’s deadliest mass shootings, including Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Orlando, and Newtown.
- Delaney cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban Act, which would ban semiautomatic weapons that have military-style features, including the AR-15.
- This legislation also includes a ban on high-capacity magazines.
These accessories, which allow individuals to modify standard semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rate of fire of a machine gun, were used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Machine guns have been banned in the US for decades, and it is time that we prohibit accessories that can undermine this critical safety measure.
- Delaney will support legislation to codify a new regulation that bans all accessories designed to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon, including bump stocks and trigger cranks.
Extreme Risk Laws
When a person knows that a family member poses an immediate threat to themselves or others, they should have a legal means to protect their safety by temporarily restricting access to guns. This has already been successfully implemented in Maryland with bipartisan support.
- Delaney is calling for a national extreme risk protection order law that would provide grants to support state, local, and tribal governments that adopt extreme risk laws, which allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition courts for temporary protective orders to restrict gun access for at-risk individuals.
Current federal law prevents certain convicted domestic abusers from buying guns, but the ban only applies to individuals convicted of abusing their spouse and does not cover instances of domestic violence in non-married couples. Intimate partner violence does not limit itself to married couples, and the gun safety measures in federal law shouldn’t be limited either.
- Delaney supports updating the Violence Against Women Act to extend the ban on convicted domestic abusers buying firearms to cover non-spouse partners.
Gun Violence Research
Though the ban on CDC research into gun violence was finally lifted in 2018, Congress still has not provided funding. Providing full support for federal research would help prevent violence and save lives.
- Delaney will ensure that the government funds this vital field of research.