U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI, announced a trio of new measures to address gun violence Tuesday to include establishing National ASK Day and expanding background check data.
A founding member of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, Cicilline echoed the words of President Barack Obama following the mass killing at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine dead.
“We have to do more as a country to address our problem with gun violence – on average, 30 Americans are killed each day with a gun. This just doesn’t happen in other developed countries,” Cicilline said in a statement.
While a number of Senators to include Chuck Shumer of New York, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have made remarks in the past week about restarting a push for gun control legislation, Cicilline is pulling the trigger on three proposals at once.
“While I understand that some in Congress would prefer not to have this debate right now, it is critical that we find the political will to finally address these urgent concerns,” the former mayor of Providence said.
The legislation filed by Cicilline includes:
- The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act, H.R. 2916, which would restrict the ability of those with a Federal Firearms License to convert their inventory of guns on hand when they close shop into personal firearms. Cicilline contends this would prevent the guns from being sold in private without background checks. It was introduced with 35 co-sponsors, all Democrats.
- The End Purchase of Firearms by Dangerous Individuals Act, H.R. 2917, which would mandate all 50 states and all applicable territories submit mental health data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The data, which would include anyone committed to an institution or who mentioned a threat of violence to a mental health worker, would be added to the database of prohibited possessors from which the FBI uses to clear those applying for background checks in pending gun transfers. Currently, each state submits mental health information based on their own guidelines. The measure has two Democratic co-sponsors.
- House Concurrent Res. 59, to designate June 21 each year as National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day which encourages parents to ask others if there is an unlocked gun in the home prior to allowing their children to visit. The logic behind the date selection, the first day of summer, is the season in which kids spend more time visiting friends and relatives homes. ASK Day was first established by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2000. It has four co-sponsors.
HR 2916 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary while 2917 has been sent to the Energy and Commerce. The ASK Day resolution has been assigned to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Cicilline did not indicate exactly how any of his measures would have prevented another such tragedy as the one in Charleston.