gun safety

I am horrified each time the news reports on more children or churchgoers killed in another mass shooting. These tragedies are unacceptable and preventable. Like a lot of people in our district, I grew up hunting with my family, and respect the rights of responsible gun owners. I believe that Americans are less divided on this issue than it appears, and that most of us can agree on a set of commonplace gun safety measures to protect our families and communities from this awful violence.

As your Congresswoman, I will work to...

Keep guns out of the wrong hands. Hunters and homeowners should be able to purchase guns, but there are people who shouldn’t: terrorists, criminals, domestic abusers, and the severely mentally ill. The first and most important thing we can do to reduce gun violence is to enact universal background checks, eliminating the loopholes that have allowed too many guns to fall into the wrong hands. Then we should take steps to make those background checks more effective, including properly funding the National Instant Criminal Background Check system; preventing anyone on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from buying guns and ammunition; prohibiting people convicted of stalking or any kind of domestic abuse from purchasing guns; and eliminating the “default sale” rule that lets people buy guns before a check is complete. 

Keep weapons of war out of our communities. I’ve been in both a duck blind and a war zone, and I know the difference between a gun designed for hunting and one designed for use in combat. Battlefield weapons have been used in mass shootings in Parkland, Newtown, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs, and Aurora. We are all safer when these kinds of guns are kept out of our communities. I support the renewal of an assault weapons ban, originally passed by Congress in 1994 with the support of Presidents Reagan, Carter, and Ford. I also support limiting the military-style modifications used in recent mass shootings, including bump stocks and large capacity magazines.