Issued June 09, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – SEIU President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement after the U.S. House passed bipartisan gun legislation late Wednesday that includes measures to raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic weapons, ban civilian use of high capacity magazines and bump stocks, and stronger restrictions on ghost gun purchases.
“The news that the U.S. House has passed gun control legislation offers working families a ray of hope at a time when senseless mass shootings have become regular occurrences. House Democrats should be commended for taking bold steps towards making our nation safer for future generations. Now it’s up to the Senate to do the same. Freedom means that every person in the U.S. should be able to go to work, school, worship services, grocery stores and social events without the fear of losing their life regardless of their race, occupation or zip code.
Poll after poll has made clear that the vast majority of American people support stricter gun laws. The House’s courageous action helps to answer that demand and hopefully indicates that elected officials on both sides of the aisle are starting to realize they must answer to their constituents who are horrified by the toll of gun violence and not the gun lobby. Protecting our children, our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, shouldn’t be up for debate; nor should it be taken as an opportunity to push outlandish conspiracy theories. As a nation, we must also stop making excuses for politicians who fan the flames of hate and division that lead to tragedies like mass shooting at a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo and vote them out of office.
SEIU members are urging the Senate to follow the House’s lead and prioritize the public’s safety over the profits of gun makers. Working people are facing so many interconnected crises in our communities, from gun violence to low wages and rising prices to racist attacks to the impacts of climate change. It’s time for our elected leaders to decide whose side they are on. Are they on the side of the gun lobby and giant corporations, or are they on the side of working people?”