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In a speech on the Senate Floor, Senator Murray called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up a vote on common-sense gun safety legislation, starting with universal background checks

Universal background checks legislation, HR 8, has already passed the House, and just needs Leader McConnell to bring it up for a vote on the Senate floor

Senator Murray’s speech was part of a larger effort by Senate Democrats to address gun violence epidemic following multiple mass shootings in Texas, Ohio last month

Senator Murray: “I want to be clear: passing universal background checks must be this body’s first order of business if we’re serious about protecting people and helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands”

***VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S SPEECH AVAILABLE HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – This morning, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring up gun safety legislation for a vote in the Senate following an August marred by multiple mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. During a speech on Senate floor, Senator Murray emphasized the need for Congress to pass common-sense gun safety reforms—starting with universal background checks, which are supported by more than 80% of Americans. Despite the popularity of these reforms, Leader McConnell has refused to schedule a vote on HR 8, universal background check legislation that has already passed the House.

“HR 8—universal background check legislation that has already passed the House—is literally sitting in the Senate waiting to be called up for a vote,” Senator Murray said during her floor speech. “I want to be clear: passing universal background checks must be this body’s first order of business if we’re serious about protecting people and helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

In addition to highlighting universal background checks, Senator Murray also acknowledged other gun safety measures that could be taken up to reduce gun violence in America, including Extreme Risk Protection Orders, restoring the assault weapons ban, investing in gun violence prevention research, and limiting magazine capacity.

This is just the most recent step by Senator Murray in her continued push for common-sense legislation to curb gun violence. Senator Murray has been a strong supporter of gun safety reforms, and as the top Democrat on the Senate health and education committee, Senator Murray has repeatedly fought to invest federal resources in gun violence research.

Watch Senator Murray’s speech HERE:

Read the full text of Senator Murray’s remarks as prepared:

“M. President— before I begin, I would like to take a moment to remember the thousands of innocent lives lost eighteen years ago today, and to thank the first responders who so bravely sacrificed their lives in the service of others.

“September Eleventh is a day that will always weigh heavily upon our nation, but it is also a day that shows the strength and resiliency of the American people.

“In response to tragedy, we saw beyond our differences and came together as a country—a lesson we must never forget. 

“Today, I come to the floor as a voice for families in my home state of Washington who have had enough of just QUOTE ‘thoughts and prayers.’

“And as a mother and a grandmother who has had enough of them, too.

“My heart breaks with every report of another horrific mass shooting. 

“Like my colleagues here today—and the rest of our country—I watched in horror last month as devastating gun violence claimed dozens of innocent lives and threw our communities into a state of panic yet again.

“This heartbreak has become all too familiar to so many of us—from El Paso and Odessa, to Dayton, in Marysville in my home state of Washington—and in schools, movie theaters, and community spaces across our country.

“So what we are doing here today is refusing to accept this as normal, and demanding the change that so many families are crying out for.

“Democrats are committed to heeding the voices of countless people back in Washington state and across our country who are desperate for leaders in this Washington—including President Trump and Leader McConnell—to address this crisis.

“That’s why I’m joining my colleagues on the Senate floor today—to call on Leader McConnell to take up common-sense gun safety legislation, starting with universal background checks.

“We know that universal background checks save lives by closing dangerous loopholes to help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

“That’s why more than eighty percent of Americans support universal background checks, and are demanding immediate action from Congress to make universal background checks the law of the land.

“There are certainly other steps we can take as well.

“We could strengthen Extreme Risk Protection Orders—which have worked in my home state of Washington.

“We can revive the assault weapons ban, invest in gun violence prevention research, and regulate firearm magazine limits.

“All of these are steps that would save lives and prevent more families from enduring the pain and trauma too many already have.

“But HR 8—universal background check legislation that has already passed the House—is literally sitting in the Senate waiting to be called up for a vote.

“So as I close, I want to be clear: passing universal background checks must be this body’s first order of business if we’re serious about protecting people and helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

“And I, my Democratic colleagues, and so many others will keep up the pressure as long as we have to—to get it done.

“Thank you, M. President.”

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