Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick

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Fitzpatrick Takes Leadership Role in Addressing Gun Violence, Community Safety

Feb 27, 2018
Press Release
Rep. Announces Introduction, Support of New Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) this week introduced and announced support for repealing the so-called Dickey Amendment, raising the legal age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21, as well as allowing families the ability to seek a temporary “gun violence prevention order” for a relative who poses a threat to themselves or others.

Since being sworn into office, Fitzpatrick, a former federal gun crimes prosecutor and the only FBI agent in Congress, has taken a leading role to improve community safety, including addressing gun violence. His actions this week are an addition to his previous efforts (listed below).

“As we pray as a nation for all the victims and families devastated by the Parkland school shooting, we must not allow yet another tragedy to go unanswered. It is incumbent upon all of us to identify the root causes of this senseless violence and move to address it immediately,” said Fitzpatrick. “All options must be on the table, including comprehensive background checks, a bump stock ban, prohibiting the sale of military assault weapons and full funding for gun violence research in a comprehensive manner that could have prevented tragedies like this. This Congress can, and must, take meaningful action to put aside partisanship and work toward solutions.”

Fitzpatrick has introduced, supported and advocated for many policies related to community safety and gun violence protection, including:

Expanded Background Checks:

  • H.R.4240 - Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017 (Co-sponsor, 11/6/17)

    • Expands the existing background check system to cover all commercial firearm sales, including those at gun shows, over the internet or in classified ads while providing reasonable exceptions for family and friend transfers. Under the legislation, the current background check system would be expanded to require comprehensive and enforceable background checks on all commercial gun sales, such as those made at gun shows, over the internet or through classified ads.

Age Restrictions for Purchasing Firearms:

  • H.R. 5090 -  Raise the Age Act (Sponsor, 2/26/18)

    • Prohibits selling or delivering certain semiautomatic centerfire rifles to a person under 21 years of age, with exceptions for active duty military personnel and full-time law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

Gun Violence Restraining Orders:

  • H.R. 2598 - Gun Violence Restraining Order Act (Co-sponsor, 2/27/18)

    • Would enable states to empower family members or law enforcement officials to go to a court to seek a “gun violence prevention order,” to temporarily stop someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun.

Gun Violence Research:

  • H.R.1478 - Gun Violence Research Act (Co-sponsor, 2/26/18)

    • Repeals the Dickey Amendment preventing CDC research into gun injury prevention or control

Prohibition on Bump Stocks:

  • H.R.4168 - Closing the Bump-Stock Loophole Act (Sponsor, 10/31/17)

    • Would allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to immediately regulate bump stocks and functionally equivalent devices that substantially increase the rate of fire of a firearm in the same way it regulates machine guns and suppressors. The registration process for anyone in possession of or purchasing bump stock devices would include a rigorous background check, finger printing and a $200 registration fee.

  • H.R.3999 - Ban Bump Stocks (Co-sponsor, 11/13/17)

Support for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS):

  • Signed letter to Speaker Ryan calling for consideration for the Fix NICS Act (attached)

    • Bill would require all Federal agencies and States to produce NICS implementation plans focused on uploading accurate, required information to the background check system.

  • Co-leading the Bipartisan National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Appropriations Letter
    • Requesting $73 million for grants to states to upgrade their electronic databases, incentives for states to transmit electronic records to NICS, penalties for states that do not comply, and requirements for keeping NICS up-to-date, including the removal of obsolete or erroneous records.  The funding also provides financial incentives for states to develop “relief from disabilities” procedures for persons who have lost the right to possess a firearm due to a mental health adjudication or commitment but are later determined not to pose a danger to public safety.
  • H.R.4471 - NICS Denial Notification Act of 2017 (Co-sponsor, 12/4/17)
    • Provides for the reporting to State and local law enforcement authorities of cases in which the national instant criminal background check system indicates that a firearm has been sought to be acquired by a prohibited person, so that authorities may pursue criminal charges under State law, and to ensure that the Department of Justice reports to Congress on prosecutions secured against prohibited persons who attempt to acquire a firearm.

Over the past several months, Fitzpatrick has met with a number local law enforcement professionals, victims’ advocates, activists and educators throughout our community to discuss safety issues. He is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.