WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Protecting Our Kids Act and the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. Both bills include specific measures to help protect Americans from senseless gun death and injury.
The Protecting Our Kids Act includes the following pieces of legislation to protect the American people:
- The Raise the Age Act to raise the purchasing age for most semi-automatic weapons to 21 years old. Currently, someone could buy a semi-automatic rifle at just 18 years old – yet you must be 21 to buy a handgun.
- The Prevent Gun Trafficking Act to crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchases to keep illegal guns off our streets.
- The Untraceable Firearms Act to outlaw ghost guns and ensure that all firearms are traceable.
- The Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act to close the bump stock loophole, banning these deadly tools from civilian use.
- The Keep Americans Safe Act to outlaw new high-capacity magazines, which 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 determined ineligible to purchase guns.
The Protecting Our Kids Act builds on the House of Representatives’ twice-passed legislation advancing universal background checks for all gun purchases, action that is supported by nearly nine out of ten Americans.
“It’s painful to recognize that the loss of countless innocent lives over decades led us here today,” said Rep. Peters. “Passing these bills to prevent more gun violence reflects the will of the American people. Now, we will continue fighting to get additional life-saving legislation over the finish line. I will not rest until the job is done.”
Gun violence in America is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths per year, including 3,449 in California alone. Every day, 30 Americans are murdered with a gun – a number that rises to more than 100 when counting suicides and accidental shootings. Recent mass shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York were both carried out by 18-year-olds legally armed with semi-automatic assault rifles. Just this past weekend, at least thirteen mass shootings scarred more communities across the country.
Earlier today, the House also passed the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. This bill permits law enforcement officers, family, and household members of a person who poses a threat to themselves or others to request that a federal court issue an extreme risk protection order to prohibit an individual from purchasing or possessing a firearm. The bill protects the right to lawfully possess a gun by requiring high standards of proof, an opportunity to be heard in court, the right to counsel, and penalties for those who file frivolous petitions. The legislation also encourages more states to adopt these red flag laws and requires law enforcement to be trained in the use of extreme risk protection orders.
Since his election to Congress in 2013, Rep. Peters has been a champion for gun safety reform:
- His 2016 livestream of the sit-in gained national media attention and was aired on CSPAN after Republicans shut off the cameras that broadcast official video of the House floor.
- Between 2015 and 2016, Rep. Peters took to the House floor over 20 times in a series titled ‘The Human Cost of Inaction’ to read the names of gun violence victims and call on then-Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on background checks.
- Throughout 2017 and 2018, Rep. Peters attended a Town Hall for Our Lives in San Diego following the Parkland shooting, opposed arming teachers, cosponsored legislation that bans assault weapons, and voted against extending concealed carry reciprocity, which would allow concealed carry licenses to be valid in states other than the issuing state.
- In 2019, when former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to put the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 up for a vote in the Senate, Rep. Peters delivered over 700 letters from San Diegans to Sen. McConnell’s office about how gun violence has affected them.