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Kinzinger Statement on Addressing Gun Reform Responsibly

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Washington, DC, March 11, 2021 | Maura Gillespie (202-225-3635) | comments
Today, the House voted on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 and Congressman Kinzinger released this statement on his vote.
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Washington, DC – Today, the House voted on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. The legislation essentially closes ‘the gun show loophole’ and would require any firearm transfer between unrelated, unlicensed individuals to be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required to perform the background check on the recipient. As a gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Congressman Kinzinger has long said background checks are critical to keeping firearms out of the wrong hands, and thus ensuring law-abiding gun owners are not hindered when making a legal purchase.

Following his vote in favor of H.R. 8, Congressman Kinzinger released this statement:

“I firmly believe in the right to keep and bear arms, legally. I’m also a strong advocate for conceal carry, and have permits myself to do so. But we have a violence problem in this country and it cannot be ignored. Following the shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in August 2019, I said publicly that should the H.R. 8 legislation come before the House again, I would vote in its favor. And today, I did just that.

“It’s important to address some of the misinformation about this bill. The language stipulates that it will not, in fact, authorize the creation of a national firearms registry. The requirement for transfers of firearms through a licensed dealer does not apply to law enforcement agencies and officers on duty, to family loaning or gifting to members of their family, if loaned for use at a shooting range or hunting, or in the case of an imminent threat (including domestic violence). I say this because I know my vote today will undoubtedly cause some anguish.

“But I believe that in order to curb evildoers from having access to firearms, we have to be willing to make some changes for the greater good. This legislation by itself will not stop violence. It will help, but the core of our issues cannot be changed by laws. We cannot detect or deter evil by legislating. Accepting the reality that this evil exists is part of it, as well as holding those who commit these crimes accountable.

“In the face of the evil that threatens the fabric of what this nation stands for, we must unite and stand against such hatred. It’s why I took this vote today, making a choice to work towards a better tomorrow for our children and the future of this country.”

In October 2019, Congressman Kinzinger participated in a field hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee of Health in Chicago. He was the only Republican to join this hearing, which was titled “A Public Health Crisis: The Gun Violence Epidemic in America.” His opening statement can be found here. Shortly after this hearing, Congressman Kinzinger partnered with his colleague Congressman Ruppersberger (D-MD) to introduce legislation that would help end the cycle of gun violence by addressing the core issues in the community, through a treatment program. More on the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act can be found here.

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