I know firsthand the terrible toll that crime and violence takes on our community and nation. In 1999, my youngest son Huey was shot and killed in Chicago. For my family and me, our lives were forever changed by this tragedy. I know we are not alone.
Gun violence is an epidemic in our country. Over the past several years, we have all seen the horrors of gun violence perpetrated against our nation and many of us have witnessed the less publicized displays of gun violence on our city streets.
I firmly believe that proposals before Congress to regulate the purchase of firearms do not infringe on the rights afforded by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. As the late Justice Scalia wrote in the Majority Opinion for District of Columbia v. Heller, "Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on … laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms." (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)) Instead, they implement commonsense requirements (for example, background checks before sale) that have bipartisan support. We must do more to prevent guns from falling into the hands of those who may harm themselves or society.
This Congress I supported and voted for two common-sense gun bills that passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. H.R.8 would close a long-standing loophole in gun laws by expanding background checks to those purchasing weapons over the internet, and H.R. 1446 would give authorities more time to conduct background checks before a gun sale can be licensed