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Bonamici, Local Advocates Celebrate Passage of Historic Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

February 27, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC [02/27/19] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) praised the passage of landmark legislation to help prevent gun violence.

Bonamici is a co-sponsor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would require background checks for almost all firearm sales and transfers. The bill passed on Wednesday, making it the first major legislation on gun violence prevention to be passed by the House of Representatives in decades.

“By passing this bill, we are heeding the call of the hundreds of thousands of students who marched for their lives,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said. “They know – and we know – that this bill will save lives because it requires a background check for nearly all firearm sales and transfers. Evidence shows that Oregon and other states that have already passed comprehensive background checks have 35 percent fewer gun deaths, and 47 percent fewer women shot by their intimate partners. Congress is finally doing more than offering thoughts and prayers.”

Local advocates joined Bonamici in recognizing the significance of H.R.8 passing in the House.

“It’s long past time we update our laws to fit the times, and close the loopholes that allow people to buy guns without a background check,” said Joshua Friedlein, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network who survived the Umpqua Community College shooting in October 2015. “We haven’t updated our background checks system in 25 years —  that means our background checks system is older than me. A lot’s changed since then  — the internet has emerged as a massive, unregulated marketplace where you can buy guns with no background check and no questions asked. If we’re going to get serious about preventing gun violence, we need to require background checks on all gun sales – not just those sold in brick and mortar stores.”

“This is the first move of many to come that will save American lives,” said Alexandria Goddard, a student organizer for the Portland March for Our Lives. “The Congresswoman and her colleagues know that, and they will keep fighting for safety, progress, and the voters they represent. For young people across the nation, it’s important we see our leaders and elected officials stand with us on these issues. We’re excited to see this bill pass, and to be part of the march towards a better America.”

Goddard was Bonamici’s guest for the State of the Union in January. Together, they highlighted the importance of legislation for gun violence prevention. Goddard is currently a student at Portland State University.

Bonamici has long been an advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention laws. She is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.