38 gun control groups demand action by Congress

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Thirty-eight gun control groups are urging lawmakers to take immediate action after the latest mass shooting suffered by the country — this time in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, when 10 people were killed and three more injured in a racially motivated attack at a supermarket in a primarily Black neighborhood.

In a letter to President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the groups outlined three main priorities.

They first requested that House Democrats “appropriate $750 million for evidence-led Community Violence Initiatives,” which they said could “break cycles of violence by addressing their root causes through meaningful investments to community-led programs.”

“It should also pass legislation banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” the groups added.

They next urged Senate Democrats to “live up to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s pledge to hold a Senate debate” and vote on legislation to expand background checks to all gun purchases.

They also want the leaders to address the “Charleston Loophole,” which allows gun purchases to move forward after three business days, even with an incomplete background check.

Nine worshipers at a historic Black church in Charleston, S.C., were killed in another mass shooting in 2015 carried out by a white supremacist who obtained his gun through the loophole.

“Following the most recent racist act of domestic terrorism in Buffalo, New York and the increase in gun
violence across the country, we are calling on you to immediately do everything and anything in your power to live up to the promises you make to voters every election year,” the groups wrote in their letter.

The groups also asked the Biden administration to answer the calls of survivors and “establish a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention in order to expedite the government’s response and issue further executive actions that will save lives.”

“With voters expressing concern about public safety and rising crime, you have a moral and political
responsibility to fight for the safer future you promise Americans on the campaign trail every election season,” the groups wrote.

Prospects for gun reform look grim in Congress. Democrats do not have the votes to move meaningful gun control legislation given GOP opposition, and they also do not have the votes to end the filibuster, which requires most pieces of legislation to have 60 votes to advance in the chamber.

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