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Rep. Wilson Votes for Life-Saving Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

Miami, Fla. – Today, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) voted to protect Florida communities and save lives with a strong legislative package to address gun violence.  The Protecting Our Kids Act includes common-sense gun safety measures that will crack down on illegal gun trafficking, keep weapons of war out of the hands of teenagers, strengthen safe gun storage, restrict access to untraceable “ghost guns” and more.

“There are too many damn guns in America – in fact, there are more guns than people in this country. Keeping Americans safe shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and keeping our young children safe, in school, and out of harm’s way should unite us across every divide. Instead, communities like those in Parkland and Orlando, Florida are torn apart and scarred by the gun violence epidemic ravaging this nation,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “The Protecting Our Kids Act brings together various commonsense approaches to safeguarding Americans in their homes, places of business, houses of worship, and everywhere else – by promoting safe storage, taking untraceable guns off our streets, and raising the age required to purchase these weapons. We have the tools to address gun violence devastating communities. Now, the Senate must act to pass this legislation and move our country forward by protecting our kids.”

Gun violence in America is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths per year, including 3,041 in Florida alone.  Every day, 30 Americans are murdered with a gun – a number that rises to more than 100 when counting suicides and accidental shootings.  In addition to this daily loss of life, gun violence continues to inflict a heavy financial burden – imposing $2.8 billion in emergency room and inpatient costs on Americans each year.

This epidemic of gun violence has continued to tear through communities in Florida and across the country.  In 2016, Florida experienced one of the deadliest shootings in America in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people. Two years later, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, murdering 17 victims including students and teachers. These tragedies led the Florida Legislature to enact laws that expanded background checks, banned bump stocks, allowed local authorities to temporarily restrict access for “red flag” gun owners, and added a three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun. The bill was signed by now-Senator Rick Scott.

During the latest tragedy last month, Americans were horrified by mass shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York – both carried out by 18-year-olds legally armed with semi-automatic assault rifles.  Just this past weekend, at least thirteen mass shootings terrorized more communities across the country.

The Protecting Our Kids Act takes key steps to address this crisis and safeguard Floridians wellbeing.  This bold legislative package includes several measures, including:

  • The Raise the Age Act: raising the purchasing age for semi-automatic weapons to 21 years old.  Currently, someone could buy a semi-automatic rifle, the weapon of choice in many mass shootings, at just 18 years old – yet you must be 21 to buy a less lethal handgun.
  • The Prevent Gun Trafficking Act: cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to get illegal guns off our streets.
  • The Untraceable Firearms Act: subjecting ghost gun purchases to background check requirements.
  • The Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act: closing the bump stock loophole to ban these deadly tools from civilian use.
  • The Keep Americans Safe Act: outlawing high-capacity magazines, which are designed for killing en-masse and have been the accessory of choice in the bloodiest mass shootings.
  • Strengthening safe storage requirements to protect children from accidental shootings.
  • Requiring an annual report of demographic data of those being determined to be ineligible to purchase guns.

The Protecting Our Kids Act builds on the House’s twice-passed legislation advancing universal background checks for all gun purchases, action that is supported by nearly nine in ten Americans.  Tomorrow, the House will vote on additional legislation establishing extreme risk protection orders, empowering courts to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others.