(Title quote from the Onion. Graphic quote from video below)
FEDERAL – Action #1: Call your senators to pass H.R.8 and H.R. 1446. Then, more importantly, ask your friends and relatives with GOP senators to call theirs! Every day. Over and over. Make their phones ring off their desks!
On March 6th, President Biden thanked the American public for making the American Rescue Plan possible. “You say, “Well, how do they make it possible?” Well, quite frankly, without the overwhelming bipartisan support of the American people, this would not have happened. Your elected officials heard you. Overwhelming public support — every public opinion poll shows overwhelming support for this plan. And for the last weeks, it’s shown that. Every public opinion poll shows the people want this, they believe it’s needed, and they believe it’s urgent.”
Well, when it comes to background checks for guns, we, the American public, are once again the main bipartisan support. 93 percent of American voters support requiring background checks on all gun sales, including 89 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of gun owners. To get the job done, however, we need to finally pass two related bills, both of which may be voted on in the House tomorrow.
H.R. 8 – Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 requires all guns, with a few exceptions, to be sold from licensed dealers. The “Bipartisan” in the title is aspirational. Out of 210 total cosponsors for H.R.8, there are only 3 GOP cosponsors.
H.R.1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 extends the background check time from 3 to 10 days to eliminate the “Charleston Loophole.” The name refers to the 2015 shooting of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Charleston, S.C., where Dylann Roof – who was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm – was able to acquire one under current federal law from the dealer after 3 days, before the FBI could complete his background check. Only 137 cosponsors have cosponsored this bill, all Democrats.
We expect both to pass the House, but thank your legislators anyway. (Rep-check here for HR. 8 and here for H.R.1446.) Reps. Brownley and Carbajal are signed onto both already. The problem will clearly occur in the Senate, so we also need to start calling our senators, and urging friends and family in RED states to call theirs.