CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE INTRODUCES THE KIMBERLY VAUGHAN FIREARM SAFE STORAGE ACT, THE SABIKA SHEIKH FIREARM LICENSING AND REGISTRATION ACT AND THE SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL VICTIMS ACT: A TRIO OF GUN SAFETY BILLS DESIGNED TO STEM THE TIDE OF GUN VIOLE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Robin K. Chand
July 26, 2019 202-225-3816
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Introduces the Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act and the Santa Fe High School Victims Act: a Trio of Gun Safety Bills Designed to Stem the Tide of Gun Violence and Limit the Loss of Life
Jackson Lee: “If we are serious about the epidemic of gun violence, we must summon the courage to do something about it. This is not a new sentiment, and the bills I introduce today are another step in the quest to reduce gun violence. In March 2019, I co-sponsored and voted to pass H.R. 8, legislation which would implement universal background checks and was favorably reported by the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am a senior member, and which passed the House of Representatives. Along with more than 200 bills House Democrats have passed as part of the “For the People” agenda and which await action by the Senate. I will not rest until these bills become law. I will not rest until this bill becomes law. Enough is enough.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, released this statement on the introduction of three pieces of gun safety legislation:
“Our nation is awash in guns. According to statistics compiled by the Small Arms Survey, a project of the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, there are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States. Put another way, this means there is one gun for every man, woman and child, with 60 million additional guns, to spare. This statistic is not without devastating consequences. The survey also found other telling facts about gun violence in the United States: there is an increased risk of successful suicide attempts in homes with guns; guns are a risk factor for domestic violence children ages five to 14 are 11 times more likely to be killed with a gun in the United States compared to other developed countries. The American Academy of Pediatrics has indicated that “the absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.” And, regrettably, the toll that mass shootings play in this country is sadly known to all Americans who have watched television, picked up a newspaper or heard a story about an aggrieved individual harnessing vigilantism to address a slight—perceived or otherwise—and opening fire. Over the last quarter century, our nation has seen an epidemic of mass shootings.
“The need to stem the tide of gun violence is manifest, and made all the more so after recounting the names and places of horrors seared in our collective conscience. Columbine. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Sutherland Springs. Las Vegas. Orlando. Santa Fe. Parkland. Of these places, one strikes very close to home. On May 18, 2018, a student at Santa Fe High School, in Santa Fe, Texas, walked into class with firearms and killed 10 people. It ranks among the deadliest school shootings in Texas history. It was determined that the gunman used his father’s lawfully-purchased guns to effectuate his terror. The need to stop these types of incidences is one of the many reasons I introduced three bills, designed to stem the tide of gun violence and limit the loss of life.
“The first is H.R. __, the Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act. This bill regulates the proper storage of firearms and ammunition for residences with a minor or a person that is ineligible to own a firearm. With the changes in this bill, an individual would be restricted from storing a firearm in a residence under the control of a person that knows an individual under 18 is likely to get access to the firearm without their permission, or if there is a resident that is ineligible to possess a firearm under Federal, State, or local law. This bill would exempt those individuals who keep their firearms or ammunition secured, unloaded, and separately in a safe certified by the Attorney General and locked with a certified lock, or if it’s stored at a gun range or storage facility that is certified by the Attorney General. This bill has certain civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance.
“The second bill introduced in this trio of gun safety bills is H.R. ____, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act. This bill creates a process for the license and registration of firearms and the possession of certain ammunition. For the registry, each person will have to transmit the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, along with the identity of the owner, the date the firearm was acquired, and where the firearm will be stored. They must also include a notice of any person that may be loaned the firearm. This must be done within 3 months after the effective date for previously acquired firearms, and on the same day for any firearms acquired after the enactment of the bill. The bill also establishes a database of all registered firearms that is accessible to the public and all branches of government. The bill creates licensing requirements that includes a minimum age of 21, a criminal background check, a psychological evaluation, a certified training course, and an insurance policy. For an antique firearm display license or a military-style weapons license, there will be additional requirements for certification established by the Attorney General. This bill permits the Attorney General to be able to deny a license if the individual is prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm and if the individual has been hospitalized with mental illnesses (this includes diagnosis of depression, homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, and addiction) or on account of conduct that endangers self or others. For the transfer of firearms, this bill makes it unlawful for a person to transfer to a person who is not licensed or without the notification of the sale, loan, or gift to the Attorney General. Additionally, the bill makes it unlawful for possession of ammunition of 0.50 caliber or greater, as well as a large capacity ammunition feeding device. However, this does not apply to the United States or a State department, agency, or a political subdivision of a State, or a law enforcement officer. This also doesn’t apply to a licensee under title 1 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a licensed manufacturer or importer, or an organization that provides training or is registered.
“Finally, the third bill introduced in this trio of gun safety bill is H.R. ___, the Santa Fe High School Victims Act. This bill prohibits the purchase or sale of a firearm or ammunition unless it is through a federally licensed dealer that meets additional requirements. This bill also increases the cost to renew a license to deal in firearms other than destructive devices. An additional requirement for federally licensed firearms dealers is to report any instance in which the licensed dealer suspects a purchases is exhibiting signs of mental duress, or if the individual is attempting to purchases a firearm on behalf of another individual. This bill also requires the license to be displayed on the business premise, and requires the Attorney general to establish a toll-free phone number to report any violation of these requirements.
“If we are serious about the epidemic of gun violence, we must summon the courage to do something about it. This is not a new sentiment, and the bills I introduce today are another step in the quest to reduce gun violence. In March 2019, I co-sponsored and voted to pass H.R. 8, legislation which would implement universal background checks and was favorably reported by the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am a senior member, and which passed the House of Representatives. Along with more than 200 bills House Democrats have passed as part of the “For the People” agenda and which await action by the Senate. I will not rest until these bills become law. I will not rest until this bill becomes law. Enough is enough.”
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security.